Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will allow eligible migrant workers in all dormitories to visit Recreation Centres (RCs) on their rest days, starting 31 October 2020. This is part of the overall measures to ease restrictions for migrant workers safely within and outside the dormitories, the Ministry announced on Wednesday (28 October).

Thus far, the migrant workers have only been allowed to leave the dormitories for work and essential errands but starting Saturday, recovered workers who still have immunity against COVID-19 and 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 F&B outlets, minimarts, telecommunications shops, barbers and remittance services at the RCs. They will also be able to meet with their friends for activities in the RCs’ communal facilities, with strict safe management measures in place.

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.

The MOM noted: "As we gradually ease these restrictions, additional measures have been put in place at the RCs to protect the health of workers. To mitigate possible overcrowding at the RCs, workers will be staggered to visit the RCs at different timeslots. The number of Exit Passes issued for each timeslot will be controlled through the application system.

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

The Ministry also stated that it had started trials to allow workers in cleared dormitories to visit RCs on their rest days on 24 August 2020. 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.

Throughout the trial period, MOM worked closely with the various stakeholders to review and refine the safe rest day measures. For instance, timeslots were increased from two-hour exits to three-hour exits based on feedback from industry associations. An additional 8pm to 11pm timeslot will also be added to cater to workers who perform overtime work on their rest days, in response to feedback from the Migrant Workers' Centre Ambassadors.

Photo / 123RF

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