Singapore to allow migrant workers from dormitories to visit recreation centres

Singapore, Oct 29 (PTI) Singapore will allow some foreign workers, who have largely been confined to dormitories since March due to the spread of the coronavirus, to visit recreation centres, as the country eases norms after low infection rates in the community.

All foreign workers from the dormitory, who test negative for COVID-19, will be able to visit recreation centres on their days off from Saturday, reported Channel News Asia, citing Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

But these workers from the dormitories, which were the biggest coronavirus spreading points at the peak of local infections, must not be from dormitory that has active COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Manpower said.

The decision came after more than two months of trials when around 30,000 migrant workers from about 300 dormitories were allowed to visit recreation centres on their rest days.

The workers will be able to shop for groceries, remit money, get a haircut and dine with their friends at the centres.

Safe distancing officers will be at the centres to make sure workers adhere to COVID-19 safety measures.

To visit their dormitory’s assigned recreation centre, workers will have to apply for an exit pass via the SGWorkPass mobile application and can do so seven days in advance.

The workers must pre-book time slots to prevent overcrowding.

The low infection rates in the community and dormitories also played a part in this decision, said MOM.

“We are pleased and heartened to see the initiatives taken by MOM to ensure the workers return to normalcy in a phased manner and this is a welcome step,” said Dipa Swaminathan, founder of ‘ItsRainingRaincoats’, an NGO helping foreign workers here.

Meanwhile, Singapore reported seven imported COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total count to 57,994.

The seven imported cases, reported on Wednesday, came from Belgium, Switzerland, Myanmar and the Philippines. They are serving stay-home notice since their arrival here. PTI GS NSA

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