Up to 3,000 vaccinated migrant workers per week allowed to visit Little India & Geylang Serai from Oct. 30

MOM said that there were "positive outcomes and encouraging feedback" to the one-month pilot programme.

Jane Zhang | October 22, 2021, 04:24 PM

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In September, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) had announced that it would be gradually easing movement restrictions for migrant workers living in dormitories, starting by allowing up to 500 vaccinated workers to visit Little India for six hours per week.

Starting Oct. 30, the community visit programme will be expanded; up to 3,000 vaccinated migrant workers per week will be allowed to visit Little India and Geylang Serai.

Encouraging feedback from pilot programme

In a press release on Friday (Oct. 22), MOM announced that under the one-month pilot programme, around 700 migrant workers from 30 dormitories visited Little India for six hours per visit since Sep. 13.

Workers had to take an Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) before and after their visits, and no workers have tested positive thus far.

MOM said that most workers it polled are satisfied with the visit itineraries and arrangements. Some workers provided feedback that they would appreciate longer visit hours and more location options.

Thus, due to the "positive outcomes and encouraging feedback" from the pilot programme, MOM will be opening up the programme to more vaccinated migrant workers starting Oct. 30.

The programme will have the additional location option of Geylang Serei, and last for a longer duration, of up to eight hours per visit.

Workers eligible for community visits

Workers residing in dormitory blocks without Covid-19 clusters will be eligible to sign up for community visits.

These dormitories must have implemented good Safe Living Measures and have workers with high vaccination rates. Migrant workers participating in the community visits will be required to take an ART on the day of the visit.

Previously, only workers from dormitories with no positive Covid-19 cases were eligible for the pilot. Workers from dormitories without Covid-19 clusters, or those in blocks without Covid-19 cases, will now be eligible.

MOM said that it will monitor the progress of the community visits and assess further expansion of the scope and scale of the visits at an appropriate time.

Easing restrictions for visits to Recreation Centres

Starting Oct. 30, MOM will also further ease restrictions for visits to Recreation Centres (RCs), and make them more accessible and convenient for vaccinated workers.

From Oct. 30, all vaccinated migrant workers can visit RCs up to three times a week, and will no longer be required to undergo a pre-visit ART.

Unvaccinated migrant workers will also be able to visit RCs up to three times a week, using their ART negative results from their Rostered Routine Testing regime or a pre-visit ART tests.

Since Sep. 13, all migrant workers have been able to visit RCs up to two times a week, but had previously had to do so within 48 hours of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or 24 hours of a negative Antigen Rapid Test (ART).

In a Facebook post about the expansion of the pilot programme and RC visits on Friday (Oct. 22), Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng wrote:

"We will continue to review our efforts, with the aim of easing movement restrictions for our migrant workers progressively and safely.

I would like to thank our migrant workers for their continued patience and trust in us."

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Top photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images and via Facebook / Tan See Leng.