Singapore — For the safety of other employees, 13,000 workers have been disallowed from returning to work after they missed a deadline for them to undergo rostered routine testing for Covid-19 as of Sunday (Sept 6), according to the straitstimes.com.
Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports that these workers have not been scheduled for the testing by their employers.
A joint press release issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) said that reminders had been given for employers to schedule their workers for the test before the given deadline of Sept 5.
As a result of having missed the deadline, these 13,000 workers will continue to have an AccessCode Status of “red”, meaning that they are barred from going back to work until they are tested.
The statement read: “This is to protect the health and safety of the other workers.”
When the workers are tested for Covid-19 and results come back negative, their AccessCode Status will be switched to “green”, which means they are cleared to go to work again.
The joint statement added that enough slots for the workers had been secured for booking the tests when the deadline was announced, and that the employers of the 13,000 workers had been given both guidance and assistance for those who were having a hard time scheduling the tests.
The authorities first announced on Aug 11 that Covid-19 testing would be mandatory for workers, and that employees in settings considered to be higher-risk would need to be tested once every two weeks. These include workers in the construction, marine and process sectors, staff who go into the work sites, and workers who live in dormitories.
By Aug 22, the authorities announced that the first deadline for the Covid-19 tests to be conducted was on Sept 5. However, straitstimes.com reports that, on the eve of the deadline, around 16,000 workers had still not been scheduled for testing. The authorities then issued a warning to “unresponsive employers” who “persistently failed to schedule workers for rostered routine testing” as they may have their work pass privileges reduced.
Employers may conveniently schedule their workers to be tested via the Swab Registration System of the HPB. /TISG