2-day wait for clearance to restart renovation works, more than 5,400 projects approved so far: BCA
SINGAPORE — Applications by contractors to resume home renovation projects will be approved within two days if the submission is in order, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said.
To “simplify the process”, there is no longer a need for contractors to submit the renovation contract and photos of the suspended renovation works, it added.
Contractors will now need to just provide information on the address of the renovation site, the workers’ names, identification card numbers and addresses, as well as the nature of the works to be done.
Announcing these in a news release on Wednesday (June 3), BCA said that it had already given the green light for more than 5,400 renovation works to resume since Singapore started to partially allow for some business activities to restart on Tuesday.
Projects that can start immediately will be with construction workers who had completed a 28-day stay-home notice and who reside in private residential and Housing and Development Board (HDB) premises, it pointed out.
TODAY reported last weekend the frustrations of contractors and sub-contractors handling residential renovation, who said that they have to jump through a number of hoops before they can start work, such as submitting their application forms successfully and getting their workers swab-tested for Covid-19.
Some believe that they are still weeks away from being able to start work under the guidelines.
In its latest statement, BCA pointed out that workers who had completed a 28-day stay-home notice during the containment period in April and May do not need to undergo a swab test in order to start work.
It also clarified that only renovation workers who are work permit or S Pass holders will need to register for and complete the Covid-Safe Training for Workers online course before they can start work.
There is no need to schedule training sessions with BCA for such training to be conducted, and there is no need for renovation contractors to get their workers to take up another safe management course that is for on-site construction works, it added.
BCA said that even if it has given approval for works to begin, some renovation projects may still be delayed. This is because some contractors may not be able to secure certain materials due to supply chain disruptions.
Other contractors may have workers who are still residing in dormitories where they are isolated from the community, or workers who are in Malaysia and are unable to travel to Singapore due to ongoing travel restrictions. Malaysia’s movement control order, which was in place since March 18, was last extended for the fourth time to June 9.
For projects involving workers staying at a dormitory, the contractors will have to wait for the dormitories to be cleared by the Government’s inter-agency task force set up to contain the spread of the coronavirus at these places before their workers can be released for work, BCA said.
It also stated that all construction workers will continue to be periodically tested for Covid-19 even after they start work. These include those living in private apartments, HDB flats or those in dormitories who have been given clearance to work.
To arrange for these periodic tests, BCA will be liaising with the contractors, and if there are positive cases detected, the affected workers will have to stop work immediately and the infected workers’ close contacts will be quarantined.
For now, BCA will “continue to focus on the suspended residential projects”, it said.