SINGAPORE — From this month onwards, migrant workers in Singapore will be able to have more opportunities to visit recreation centres (RCs), as the country further eases dormitory restrictions that were put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Second Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng said in Parliament on Wednesday (3 March) that migrant workers can visit RCs up to three times a week, instead of just once per week, during their rest days or after working hours. Furthermore, their visiting hours are lengthened from three to four hours per visit.
At these RCs, migrant workers will be able to access food and beverages outlets, minimarts, telecommunications shops, barbers and remittance services. They will also be able to meet with their friends for activities in the RCs’ communal facilities.
Their visits will be subject to compliance with rostered routine testing (RRT), wearing of contact-tracing devices and safe living measures.
Dr Tan, who was speaking during the Committee of Supply debate for the Ministry of Manpower, said that the ministry is also drawing up plans to allow eligible workers to visit the community once a month, with operational details currently being worked out to keep the numbers manageable.
"We have no intention whatsoever for restrictions to be stricter than necessary, or to be in place longer than what is necessary," he said.
"We are dealing with the real risk posed by COVID-19, especially when we are trying to prevent cross transmission of possible re-infection. We appeal to all of you for your support and understanding as we continue to calibrate measures to adapt to the ever-evolving situations."
Since April last year, migrant workers' movement has been restricted, following serious COVID-19 outbreaks at the dormitories. The workers also had to undergo regular RRTs once every two weeks.
The number of COVID-19 infections amid the dormitories have been significantly reduced – from a record-high of 1,397 new cases on 20 April last year to sporadic new cases since October last year.
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