Covid-19 rules, community visit limits to be eased for migrant workers in dorms

The move to streamline safety measures for migrant workers in dorms will kick in from March 15, 2022. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - There will no longer be differentiated Covid-19 safety measures for migrant workers living in dormitories here, as the same rules that apply to the wider community will soon apply to such workers too.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (March 11) that the move to streamline these safety measures will kick in from next Tuesday, as it announced an increase in the number of migrant workers who can visit the community.

The ministry noted that the number of cases from these dorms has stayed low over the past few weeks. Vaccination coverage and booster take-up among migrant workers have also been very strong.

"The migrant worker population has therefore become very resilient to Covid-19 infections. Hence, there are good reasons to take a significant step to allow more of our vaccinated migrant workers to visit the community safely, and to safeguard their well-being," said the ministry.

Measures regarding the usage of sports facilities, group sizes and events in dormitories and recreation centres will also be aligned with those of the community.

For example, migrant workers will be able to resume all sports activities involving up to 30 fully vaccinated persons at supervised sports facilities within dormitories and Recreation Centres, said MOH.

MOH added that from next Tuesday, up to 15,000 vaccinated migrant workers will be allowed to visit the community on weekdays, and up to 30,000 on weekends and public holidays, for up to eight hours per visit.

This is an increase from the current quotas of 3,000 on weekdays, and 6,000 on weekends and public holidays. Each visit to the community is capped at eight hours.

"To manage crowding at popular locations, migrant workers will continue to apply to visit their selected locations in the community," said MOH, adding that the Ministry of Manpower will monitor the application numbers and continue to conduct regular checks at potential congregation hot spots.

Responding to a question on why migrant workers are not yet allowed to move even more freely, co-chairman of the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 Gan Kim Yong said during a virtual press conference on Friday that the authorities continue to monitor the situation.

“Going forward, I think the adjustment between the dormitory and the community is going to be in sync. We will try to, as much as possible, move together... so we don’t have to then have a different set of rules for different settings” said Mr Gan, who is also Minister for Trade and Industry.

He added: “I think this will keep it simpler, and for whether it’s dormitory operator, whether it’s workplaces, you will find it easier to understand, easier to implement. And as a result, actually, it will be more effective in controlling and managing the pandemic.”

More than 98 per cent of migrant workers living in dormitories have been fully vaccinated.

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