SINGAPORE – All work permit and S Pass holders in the construction industry will be on 14-day stay-home notices (SHN) from Monday (April 20) to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus at work sites, said the Manpower Ministry (MOM) on Saturday.
It will take effect on April 20 and end May 4. Dependant Pass holders of these workers are also to be on stay-home notice.
The new move is to ensure that there is no further interaction between workers and those outside their residential premises for two weeks, the ministry said in a statement.
The changes apply to the construction sector as the highest number of infected cases have come from this sector and work site transmissions have been a contributing factor.
“Contact tracing suggests that transmissions at common construction work sites may have contributed to the increase in numbers,” it said.
There are 284,300 work permit holders in the construction industry.
Construction work has generally ceased except for that in progress for critical public infrastructure, maintenance and services to ensure public safety, and emergency repairs & maintenance. These are considered essential services.
The move 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, which are already under special arrangements.
Employment pass holders are generally less exposed to work sites and live in non-communal premises, hence the rules will not apply to them, the ministry added.
“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 care of their well-being. The workers are advised to immediately consult a doctor if they are unwell,” it said.
The ministry said that enforcement officers will conduct regular checks on workers to ensure compliance, and that employers are responsible for making sure their foreign employees’ addresses and mobile numbers registered with MOM are up to date.
“MOM 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,” it said. “This is necessary to protect the health and safety of the larger community.”