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Singapore to ease restrictions on migrant workers in dorms from Monday: Report

As a pilot starting from next Monday, the first identified location is Little India, a precinct favourite among migrant workers from South Asia.

Published: 09th September 2021 03:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2021 03:33 PM   |  A+A-

A man wearing a face mask crosses the street in Singapore’s Chinatown district.

A man wearing a face mask crosses the street in Singapore’s Chinatown district. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

SINGAPORE: Singapore will gradually ease restrictions on the movement of migrant workers, including Indian nationals, who have been living in dormitories since April last year following the outbreak of COVID-19, a media report said on Thursday.

As a pilot starting from next Monday, the first identified location is Little India, a precinct favourite among migrant workers from South Asia, and a hub for Indian workers to spend their weekends in the midst of rows of shops retailing Indian-origin goods.

Workers will be required to take an antigen rapid test (ART) before and three days after the visit, Channel News Asia reported.

The Ministry of Manpower said on Thursday that the visit to Little India will be a on “vaccination-differentiated approach”, with unvaccinated workers required to exercise stricter safe management measures or undergo additional testing.

Movement restrictions for all dormitories were introduced in April last year, after an outbreak in dormitories saw tens of thousands of COVID-19 cases.

These dorms were then declared "clusters" for coronavirus spread among a large number of workers.

For a start, each week, up to 500 vaccinated workers from dormitories with good 'Safe Living Measures', no COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, and with high vaccination rates will be allowed to visit these locations for six hours.

The ministry said it would review the pilot after a month to see how to safely expand the scope and scale.

From next Monday, all migrant workers will also be able to visit recreation centres more frequently, up to two times a week.

The Ministry of Manpower will work with non-government organisations (NGOs) to introduce activities including movie screenings, wellness, sporting and leisure events, as well as religious services at the centres and in dormitories.

Workers will be able to visit recreation centres within 48 hours of their negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or 24 hours of their negative ART result.

This is part of the new mandatory ART between their rostered routine testing.

Workers who are looking to visit the recreation centres for the second time in the same week outside the baseline test windows can do so with a negative ART result.



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