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All construction workers holding work permits or S Passes to be placed on compulsory stay-home notices: MOM

SINGAPORE — All construction workers who are holding work permits or S Passes will be placed on mandatory stay-home notices (SHNs) which take effect from Monday (April 20) to May 4.

The ministry reiterated that it is making this move as the highest number of infected cases have come from the construction sector and worksite transmissions have been a contributing factor.

The ministry reiterated that it is making this move as the highest number of infected cases have come from the construction sector and worksite transmissions have been a contributing factor.

SINGAPORE — All construction workers who are holding work permits or S Passes will be placed on mandatory stay-home notices (SHNs) which take effect from Monday (April 20) to May 4. 

The Dependant Pass holders of these workers will also be placed on SHN, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced on Saturday. 

The “precautionary move” was taken to “ensure there are no further interactions between the workers and those outside their residential premises for two weeks”, MOM said.

The ministry noted that Employment Pass holders are “generally less exposed to the worksites and live in non-communal premises”.

Employers may seek exemption from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for their employees to be allowed to carry out essential services such as vector control. 

The number of foreign workers granted such exemption to leave their places of residence to perform essential services only may be capped at BCA’s discretion. 

Explaining the rationale of the move, MOM said: “The recent rise in the number of foreign workers infected with Covid-19 have been mostly concentrated in dormitories. However, contact tracing suggests that transmissions at common construction worksites may have contributed to the increase in numbers.” 

Nevertheless, MOM noted that so far, the cases detected among workers living outside the dormitories have been low. “All those infected and their close contacts have been isolated,” it said.

As of Friday, almost two thirds of the total cases in Singapore were made up of foreign workers who stay in dormitories.

The ministry reiterated that it is making this move as the highest number of infected cases have come from the construction sector and worksite transmissions have been a contributing factor.

“The SHNs will help prevent further transmission of the virus between workers in the sector, across all housing types,” it said. 

The SHN for the construction sector applies to all workers and their dependants in any place of accommodation, or any place which is converted into a place of accommodation on a temporary basis, or otherwise. 

It excludes those staying in any dormitory gazetted as an isolation area, or any foreign employee dormitory as defined in the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act 2015, as special arrangements have already been catered for them.

Employers who have workers affected by the SHN are required to make arrangements for these workers during the SHN period, including the provision of food and to take care of their well-being. They are also required to check on the health of their foreign employees on SHN daily for reporting to BCA. 

The workers are advised to immediately consult a doctor if they are unwell, MOM said.

During the SHN period, MOM enforcement officers will conduct regular checks on the workers to ensure compliance to SHN requirements. 

MOM said it will take strict enforcement measures against errant employers or employees who do not comply with the SHN requirements, including the suspension of work pass privileges and revocation of work passes. 

“This is necessary to protect the health and safety of the larger community,” the ministry stressed. 

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Covid-19 coronavirus MOM

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