COVID-19: All work permit and S pass holders in construction sector to be placed on stay-home notice

COVID-19: All work permit and S pass holders in construction sector to be placed on stay-home notice

Photo of Toh Guan Dormitory (3)
A worker gets his temperature checked at Toh Guan Dormitory on Monday, Apr 6, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: All work permit holders and S Pass holders in the construction sector will be placed on mandatory stay-home notices, announced the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in a media release on Saturday (Apr 18).

This will take effect on Apr 20 and end on May 4, as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19 in Singapore, said the authorities.

They noted that while the recent rise in number of foreign workers infected with the coronavirus has mostly been concentrated in dormitories, there have been cases at construction worksites. 

"Contact tracing suggests that transmissions at common construction worksites may have contributed to the increase in numbers," said MOM and BCA. 

"Thus far, the cases detected among workers living outside the dormitories have been low. All those infected and their close contacts have been isolated."

READ: Daily high of 942 new COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore

Employers may seek exemption from BCA for their workers to carry out essential services such as vector control.

Otherwise, the stay-home notices apply to workers and their dependents in any place of accommodation. 

It excludes those staying in dormitories gazetted as isolation areas, as well as those in dormitories as defined in the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act 2015, as special arrangements have already been made for residents in such dormitories.

READ: ‘Dedicated strategy’ to break COVID-19 spread in dormitories, including housing healthy workers in army camps

READ: COVID-19: Battling fear and boredom, migrant workers grapple with isolation in dormitories

Employers whose workers are affected by the latest stay-home notice are required to make arrangements for them such as providing food, and ensuring that their addresses and mobile phone numbers registered with MOM are up to date.

Employers are also required to check on the health of their workers daily for reporting to the BCA.

Those who feel unwell are advised to immediately consult a doctor.

MOM said enforcement officers will conduct regular checks on workers to ensure that the requirements of the stay-home notice are kept to.

Strict enforcement action will be taken against errant employers or employees who do not comply, said the ministry, adding that this can include revoking work passes.

"MOM is implementing this requirement on all workers in the construction sector as the highest number of infected cases have come from this sector and worksite transmissions have been a contributing factor," MOM and BCA said.

"The stay-home notices will help prevent further transmission of the virus between workers in the sector, across all housing types."

Singapore on Saturday reported 942 new cases of COVID-19 infection, most of which are linked to foreign worker dormitories.

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Source: CNA/gs

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