Coronavirus: Jobs

13,000 workers yet to go for routine testing barred from work

Essential workers waiting to take swab tests for Covid-19 in Singapore on June 10, 2020.
Essential workers waiting to take swab tests for Covid-19 in Singapore on June 10, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

Some 13,000 workers who have yet to undergo rostered routine testing for the coronavirus as at Sunday will be barred from returning to work.

Yesterday, the authorities said that the AccessCode status of these workers will remain red, meaning that they cannot return to work until they are tested.

"This is to protect the health and safety of the other workers," they said, adding that the workers' status would be changed to green after they are tested.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Manpower, the Building and Construction Authority, the Economic Development Board and the Health Promotion Board said they had engaged employers and reminded them to schedule their workers for testing before the deadline last Saturday.

The authorities added that they had also ensured there were sufficient slots for booking when the deadline was announced, and provided guidance and help to employers who were facing difficulties scheduling their workers for the tests.

The need for such testing was announced on Aug 11, with the authorities saying workers in higher-risk settings would have to undergo a swab test every 14 days.

On Aug 22, the authorities set a deadline of Sept 5 for the first test to be conducted.

On the night before the deadline, about 16,000 workers had yet to be scheduled for the tests.

At the time, the agencies warned that "unresponsive employers" who "persistently failed to schedule workers for rostered routine testing" may have their work pass privileges curtailed.

The agencies emphasised that employers should quickly schedule appointment slots for their workers on the Health Promotion Board's Swab Registration System to avoid further disruption to their business operations.

Employers in the construction sector with questions on the requirements should write in to SRS_Enquiries@bca.gov.sg

Those in the marine and process sectors should contact swab@edb.gov.sg while those dealing with manufacturing or services workers staying in dormitories can visit www.mom.gov.sg/feedback

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2020, with the headline '13,000 workers yet to go for routine testing barred from work'. Print Edition | Subscribe