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More migrant workers can visit community, COVID-19 measures in dormitories to be streamlined

More migrant workers can visit community, COVID-19 measures in dormitories to be streamlined

A migrant worker waits to cross a street in Singapore. (File Photo: CNA/Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: COVID-19 safe management measures at migrant worker dormitories will be streamlined to align with the latest community restrictions, and more workers living in dormitories will be able to visit the community from next Tuesday (Mar 15).

From Mar 15, authorities will “rationalise” the safe management measures for migrant workers living in dormitories, said Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, who co-chairs the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force.

This comes as the task force announced a streamlining of safe management measures based on five parameters: Group sizes, mask-wearing, workplace requirements, safe distancing and capacity limits.

The usage of sports facilities, group sizes and events in dormitories and recreation centres will be “aligned with the general community safe management measures”, said Mr Gan at a press conference on Friday.

For example, migrant workers will be able to resume all sports activities with up to 30 fully vaccinated participants at supervised sports facilities within dormitories and recreation centres, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release.

The community visits programme for migrant workers living in dormitories will also be expanded 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 for weekends and public holidays.

“To manage crowding at popular locations, migrant workers will continue to apply to visit their selected locations in the community,” said MOH. 

The Ministry of Manpower will monitor the application numbers and continue to conduct regular checks at "potential congregation hotspots", added the Health Ministry.

MOH said the number of COVID-19 cases within dormitories has stayed "very low" over the past few weeks. 

“Vaccination coverage and booster take-up amongst migrant workers have been very strong. The migrant worker population has therefore become very resilient to COVID-19 infections," added MOH.

"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."

Responding to a reporter's question, Mr Gan said that going forward, the adjustment of safe management measures between the dormitories and the community is "going to be in sync".

"We will try to as much as possible to move together and the simplification to five parameters ... will allow us to do that. So we don't have to then have a different set of rules for different settings."

Watch the full news conference, including the Q&A session with journalists:

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Source: CNA/hm(mi)

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