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Singapore to cease entry of dormitory-bound work pass holders via vaccinated travel lanes

Singapore to cease entry of dormitory-bound work pass holders via vaccinated travel lanes

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

SINGAPORE: Employers of S Pass and work permit holders in the construction, marine shipyard and processes sector will not be allowed to make new applications for their employees to enter Singapore via the vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) from 11.59pm on Saturday (Dec 4).

This will also apply to employers of other dormitory-bound work pass holders, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a press release.

Malaysians and female work pass holders will still be allowed to enter Singapore via VTLs and will be subject to the prevailing health protocols, said the ministry, adding that this is because these individuals “generally do not reside in dormitories”.

The ministry said that S Pass and work permit holders in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors, as well as other dormitory-bound workers, should come in via the work pass holder general lane.

They may also enter Singapore via ongoing industry initiatives such as programmes with "upstream testing" and isolation in the source country.

“The number of workers entering under these lanes meet industry needs while allowing the entry of these workers to be done at a pace where they can be safely onboarded before entering the dormitories and worksites as these are higher risk settings,” said MOM.

 

The Manpower Ministry said such workers who have obtained approval prior to the effective date to enter Singapore via VTLs will still be allowed to do so.

"They will need to take an on-arrival COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction test and self-isolate while waiting for the results. Those who test negative will go through the five-day on-boarding programme. More details will be communicated to the employers," it added. 

The onboarding programme is an existing requirement for new construction, marine shipyard and process sector workers. Safe onboarding includes verification of vaccination, medical examination as well as a settling in programme.

In view of the Omicron variant, Singapore on Friday announced the tightening of rules for VTL travellers

The country last week also deferred the launch of VTL arrangements with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “until further notice”. They were originally scheduled to launch from Dec 6.

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Source: CNA/jt(zl)
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