Community visit programme for vaccinated migrant workers to be expanded, with additional location and extended hours
SINGAPORE: More vaccinated migrant workers will soon be able to take part in weekly visits to the community, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday (Oct 22).
Under a pilot community visit programme, up to 500 vaccinated workers from selected dormitories have been allowed to visit Little India each week since Sep 13.
During the one-month pilot, about 700 migrant workers from 30 dormitories visited Little India for six hours per visit.
From Oct 30, up to 3,000 vaccinated migrant workers will be able to visit Little India and Geylang Serai per week, for up to eight hours per visit, the ministry said.
This is due to the “positive outcomes and encouraging feedback from the pilot”, MOM added.
“The workers are required to administer antigen rapid tests (ART) before and after the visits, and none have tested positive thus far,” said the ministry.
Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said in a Facebook post on Friday that the pilot programme provided the ministry “with useful learning points on ways to improve the experience" for migrant workers.
“For example, there was feedback from our post-visit surveys on increasing the duration of visits, and for alternative locations to be included,” he said.
“We are also confident that our safeguards are working, as none of the participants tested positive when taking the ART after returning from their community visits."
Eligibility to sign up for the community visits was also extended. Workers living in dormitories without COVID-19 clusters, or those in blocks without cases, will now be eligible to sign up for community visits. Previously, only workers from dormitories with no COVID-19 cases were eligible.
“These dormitories must have implemented good safe living measures and have workers with high vaccination rates,” MOM said, adding that those participating in the visits will be required to take an ART on the day of their visit.
“MOM will monitor the progress of the community visits and assess further expansion of the scope and scale of the visits at an appropriate time."
MOM added that it will make visits to recreation centres “more accessible and convenient” for vaccinated workers.
From Oct 30, all vaccinated migrant workers can visit recreation centres up to three times a week, and will no longer be required to undergo a pre-visit ART.
“Unvaccinated migrant workers will be able to visit recreation centres up to three times a week as well, using their ART negative results from their rostered routine testing regime or a pre-visit ART test," said MOM.