Migrant workers in dorms allowed to visit recreation centres

SINGAPORE — From Saturday (31 October), eligible migrant workers living in dormitories will be allowed to visit recreation centres (RCs) on their rest days.

In a media release on Wednesday, the Ministry of Manpower said that this easing of restrictions comes after more than two months of trials, and with COVID-19 infection rates in the community and dormitories maintained at low levels over a period of time.

From Saturday, recovered workers who still have immunity against COVID-19, as well as those who have been tested negative recently under the rostered routine testing regime, will be allowed to visit RCs.

They will be able to access amenities and services such as food and beverages outlets, minimarts, telecommunications shops, barbers and remittance services. They will also be able to meet with their friends for activities in the RCs’ communal facilities, with strict safe management measures in place.

Before this, migrant workers are allowed to leave their dormitories only for work and essential errands.

Exit passes to visit Recreation Centres

Eligible workers will be able to book an exit pass via the SGWorkPass mobile application to visit their dormitory’s assigned RC, up to seven days in advance. Checks will be conducted by dormitory operators and the RCs to ensure workers have valid exit passes before allowing entry and exit.

To mitigate possible overcrowding at the RCs, workers will be staggered to visit the centres at different time slots. The number of exit passes issued for each time slot will be controlled through the application system.

In addition, MOM has worked with sector agencies and employers to stagger the rest days for workers in the construction, marine and process sectors.

The ministry has also review and refine the safe rest day measures amid the trials. For instance, time slots were lengthened from two hours to three hours based on feedback from industry associations. An additional 8pm to 11pm time slot will also be added to cater to workers who perform overtime work on their rest days.

30,000 workers took part in trials

To date, around 30,000 migrant workers from over 300 dormitories – including a mix of purpose-built dormitories, factory-converted dormitories and temporary living quarters – have booked exit passes as part of the trials.

“When there is greater assurance that COVID-19 transmission has been sustained at negligible levels, we will work with our stakeholders to review when dormitory residents could be allowed to visit other popular social and recreational spots beyond the RCs,” said Tung Yui Fai, chief of the Assurance, Care and Engagement Group under the MOM.

“We appreciate the cooperation of workers, employers, dorm operators and NGOs in working towards the goal of letting dormitory residents enjoy their rest days safely.”

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