COVID-19: Foreign workers in large gatherings will have work passes revoked if they do not disperse

Migrant workers mostly from Bangladesh wear masks as they enjoy a day off on a weekend in Singapore on 23 February 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has warned that it will disperse large outdoor gatherings of migrant workers, and those who do not cooperate will have their work passes revoked.

In a statement on Wednesday (25 March), MOM reminded migrant workers to avoid gathering in public spaces, or visiting crowded places including Little India, Lucky Plaza, City Plaza, Peninsula Plaza. “As outdoor gatherings among Foreign Domestic Workers tend to be large, MOM will take action to disperse them as an added precaution,” said the ministry, adding that it will step up inspections on the ground.

When workers meet in indoor spaces, they must observe the latest rules on the gathering size, which limit them to 10 individuals or less.

Workers are also strongly advised to remain in their residence on their rest days. If they have important errands to attend to, they should minimise time spent outside. “Employers should be aware of where their workers will be going and to have them return home upon completion of their errands.”

MOM also urged employers and dormitory operators to educate their workers and residents on the advisory to remain at home or in dormitories on their rest days.

On Wednesday, the multi-ministry taskforce on COVID-19 announced 73 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore - the biggest spike to date - taking the country’s total to 631. Two new infection clusters were also confirmed at PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Fengshan Blk 126 at Bedok North Street 2 and Dover Court International School (301 Dover Road).

The day before, the taskforce said that all bars and entertainment venues – such as night clubs, discos cinemas, theatres and karaoke outlets – in Singapore will be closed till end-April, or later, as part of stricter measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

All events, regardless of size, must also be deferred or cancelled, while gatherings outside of work and school are to be limited to 10 people or fewer at any time. All centre-based tuition and enrichment classes, as well as religious services and congregations, were also suspended.

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