Taxi drivers in Singapore who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by Feb. 1, 2022 cannot continue driving and can have their contracts suspended.
This was announced by Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor in a Jan. 13 Facebook post.
These taxi drivers will not have to pay rental during the period their contracts are suspended.
Taxi operators collect rental when they rent out the vehicles to the taxi drivers.
The suspension of contracts will end when taxi drivers are fully vaccinated.
More than 300 medically eligible active drivers
Khor said there are slightly more than 300 medically eligible active drivers who have yet to receive at least one dose of the vaccine.
This translates to about 0.5 per cent of all active drivers.
The waiver of rental during the suspension period will "reduce" the "financial burden" of these drivers, she noted.
She added that more than 99 per cent of about 66,500 active taxi and private-hire vehicle drivers are fully vaccinated.
More than 75 per cent have received their booster shots.
Met with associations
Khor said she had met with the National Taxi Association (NTA) and the National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA).
Their request was to extend the Feb. 1 deadline to allow for unvaccinated taxi and private-hire drivers to get vaccinated.
However, Khor said an extension will be more dangerous: "Extending the timeline for our unvaccinated taxi and PHC (private hire car) drivers would in fact be putting them at greater health risk."
Drivers who need assistance to comply with the measures can approach their associations or the LTA, she added.
How the authorities can help will be on a case-by-case basis, the post also said.
What are the workplace vaccination measures?
Workplace vaccination measures were announced in December 2021.
All workers, even those who are self-employed, such as taxi and private-hire vehicle drivers, need to be fully vaccinated to return to the workplace from February 2022.
Those who have taken at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine will have until Jan. 31 to complete their vaccination regime.
Drivers can still drive during this grace period as long as they have a daily negative pre-event test result from a Ministry of Health-approved Covid-19 test provider, Khor said.
Khor said the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant makes it even more critical for medically eligible drivers to adhere to the workplace vaccination measures by Feb. 1.Top photos via Amy Khor Facebook