More than 5,400 suspended residential renovation projects can resume: BCA

Migrant workers take part in repair work next to a road in Singapore on 3 June 3, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — More than 5,400 suspended residential renovation projects have been approved to resume works from Tuesday (2 June), said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

In a press release on Wednesday, the authority said that it has “cleared and approved all” such applications that are in order.

All new applications to resume works will be approved within two days, provided submissions are in order, it added.

“Upon approval, renovation contractors can immediately resume work with the construction workers who reside in private residential and HDB premises,” the BCA said.

These workers would have completed a 28-day stay home notice during the circuit breaker period, and do not need to undergo a COVID-19 swab test prior to commencing work.

However, some contractors may have workers who are still residing in the dormitories and will have to wait for the forms to be cleared by the Inter-Agency Taskforce before the workers can be released for work, the BCA added.

Contractors whose workers are in Malaysia and are unable to travel to Singapore, as well as contractors who are unable to secure certain materials due to supply chain disruptions, will be similarly delayed as well.

“For these reasons, there may be delays in the renovations works even after BCA has given the approval,” the authority said.

All construction workers – regardless of the type of residence – will continue to be subject to periodic COVID-19 testing after they start work.

The BCA said it will be liaising with the contractors to arrange for these tests to be conducted.

If a worker tests positive, he will have to stop work immediately and his close contacts will all be quarantined, it added.

For now, the BCA said it will continue to focus on the suspended residential projects.

Contractors with such projects may submit their applications at go.gov.sg/bca-reno-construction-accounts, with the following information:

  • Address of the renovation site;

  • Names, FIN, and address of workers; and

  • Nature of works

In order to simplify the process, contractors do not need to submit the renovation contract and photos of the suspended renovation works, said the BCA.

The authority also clarified that renovation workers who are work permit or S pass holders are only required to register for the COVID-Safe Training for Workers online course at go.gov.sg/BESafe-Register.

Workers can start work before completing the online course and there is no need to schedule training sessions with the BCA.

Renovation contractors are also not required to send their workers for the Safe Management Officers Course for Construction, which is for on-site works.

The BCA said last Wednesday that renovations works for residential units that do not require building plan submissions as well as building works on single dwelling landed properties that were disrupted during the circuit breaker period can resume from 2 June.

However, suspended renovation works in other types of buildings, new renovation works and new building works for landed residential properties will resume or start in a later phase.

The BCA had earlier in May said that about 40,000 workers, or some 10 per cent of the construction workforce, would resume construction work by June.

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