Skip to content

Singapore to ease COVID-19 restrictions for migrant workers – Reuters

Medical personnel assist a migrant worker as he enters an ambulance at a factory-converted dormitory, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore, April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
SINGAPORE, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Singapore said on Thursday it will start easing movement restrictions for migrant workers living in dormitories from next week, more than a year after the curbs were imposed due to a surge in infections in their often cramped quarters.
The announcement by the manpower ministry came after more than 90% of the workers in dormitories were fully vaccinated, higher than Singapore's overall vaccination rate at 81%, which is one of the highest in the world.
Up to 500 vaccinated migrant workers will be allowed to visit pre-identified public locations for six hours each week. They are required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test before and three days after, the ministry said in a statement, adding it would evaluate the pilot scheme after a month.
"Together with the implementation of a multi-layered strategy to test, detect and contain the spread of COVID-19, we are now better prepared to handle any outbreaks at the dormitories," said the ministry.
Meanwhile, all other migrant workers will be allowed to visit recreation centres up to twice a week, and organised excursions by non-governmental organisations for vaccinated migrant workers to local attractions will resume.
Currently, migrant workers are mostly confined to their living quarters, other than for work, nearby recreation or essential errands.
The Southeast Asian financial hub had imposed strict movement curbs on tens of thousands of mainly South Asian low-wage labourers living in dormitories since April last year, after virus outbreaks occurred which eventually contributed to the bulk of Singapore's more than 60,000 COVID-19 cases.
The government said at the time the action was needed to prevent broader transmission and that it had taken measures to reduce worker interaction in the dormitories and ensure they received a salary, meals and medical support.
But the quarantining of the dormitories was criticised by some rights groups, which warned last year the action may be discriminatory and risked exposing healthy individuals to a higher chance of infection.
Singapore has been reporting more than 100 infections daily over the past two weeks as it removes most restrictions as part of a phased reopening, but the majority of cases have been in the wider community, rather than in the worker dormitories.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday he was retiring from politics, a surprise move that fuelled speculation he was clearing the way for a presidential run by his daughter.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets – delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *