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Josephine Teo: Foreign worker dormitories now out of “crisis mode” and on to the next phase

Ms Teo said that they were moving to a more sustainable model where the focus would be on three key phases: Safe Re-opening, Safe Transition and Safe Nation

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Manpower Minister announced that foreign worker dormitories were ready to move into the next phase of dormitory operations.

In a Facebook post on Saturday (Aug 15), Ms Teo wrote: “With all dormitories now cleared of COVID-19, we are shifting out of ‘crisis mode’ to a more sustainable model where we focus on these three key phases: Safe Re-opening, Safe Transition and Safe Nation”.

It was announced on Wednesday (Aug 12) last week that foreign workers residing in dormitories cleared of Covid-19 will soon be allowed to leave the dormitories for personal errands.

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In a joint statement, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that it is starting small-scale trials in August. While participating dormitories have not been announced, workers will be allowed to visit recreation centres to buy groceries, Sim cards or to remit money.

The ministry eventually aims to allow workers residing in cleared dormitories to enjoy their rest days without movement restrictions. It aims to allow all dormitory residents to apply for exit passes to visit recreation centres by October.

In its statement, the MOM said that residents in selected dormitories will need to apply for a “dormitory exit pass” through their SGWorkPass mobile application, which will provide them with a specific exit timeslot. There will be several slots spread out across each day.

They must also have recovered from Covid-19 or received a negative swab test result within two weeks prior to the exit date, not be on quarantine order or stay-home notice, installed and registered the TraceTogether app on their mobile phones, and have chosen an exit pass timeslot with available vacancies.

In her post, Ms Teo also thanked “the Inter-agency Taskforce (ITF), comprising close to 3,000 officers including about 1,000 MOMers”. She also thanked ITF officers and other stakeholders including employers and dormitory operators for working round the clock to ensure the safety and well-being of the migrant workers.

Ms Teo ended her post adding that “There is much more work to be done”. -/TISG

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