Coronavirus pandemic

Maids can meet friends on rest days, but in groups of up to five

Domestic workers should not gather or loiter in public spaces or visit crowded areas such as City Plaza, Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza, said the Manpower Ministry. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Domestic workers should not gather or loiter in public spaces or visit crowded areas such as City Plaza, Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza, said the Manpower Ministry. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

As Singapore enters phase two of its reopening tomorrow, domestic workers can once again meet their friends outside their place of residence.

But there are strict conditions, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday.

While they can spend their rest days outside, they should seek the consent of their employers to do so on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded.

Each group should also be limited to not more than five people, and they should not gather or loiter in public spaces or visit crowded areas such as City Plaza, Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza.

Those who want to remit money should schedule appointments with their remittance agents or remit through electronic platforms.

For domestic helper Mercy Veloza, the news brought much cheer. The 48-year-old Filipina, who has been in Singapore for almost 14 years, currently spends most of her rest days inside her room. But she hopes to go to Lucky Plaza to have a meal at the Jollibee chicken restaurant soon, she said.

MOM said its officers will carry out inspections and disperse large group and outdoor gatherings.

Those who do not cooperate risk being fined and having their work passes revoked.

The basic conditions remain as well: The domestic helpers should continue to wear a mask and practise safe distancing when outside, observe good personal hygiene, and avoid sharing food, drinks and other personal items.

They should also inform their employers about their whereabouts, and download and activate the TraceTogether app to facilitate contact tracing.

"Our community needs to stay disciplined and vigilant... so that all our efforts so far to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are not wasted," said MOM.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2020, with the headline Maids can meet friends on rest days, but in groups of up to five. Subscribe