Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Preparing for Safe Working, Safe Living and Safe Rest Days

01 Jun 2020

Ref No.: 010620 (4)

UEN: S97SS0046G

Dear Valued ASPRI Members,

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Preparing for Safe Working, Safe Living and Safe Rest Days


The Inter-Agency Task Force (ITF) had earlier announced on 15 May 2020 that in the recovery phases of its operations, it aims to clear dormitories or dormitory blocks housing up to 60,000 migrant workers in the ensuing weeks. The ITF will systematically and progressively clear all remaining dormitories in the coming months, by testing and safeguarding the good health of all residents.

MOM and the ITF are working with all stakeholders – dormitory operators, employers, and migrant workers – to make preparations so that workers can be allowed to resume work once their dormitory is cleared of COVID-19 infections.

Please see below for the extracted highlights. To view the full press release, please click here. 
Step 1: Cleared Blocks/Dormitories

The ITF will announce the first batch of Cleared Blocks/Dormitories next week. A Cleared Dormitory is one where every block within has been cleared. The residents in the Cleared Blocks/Dormitories are either workers who had COVID-19 infection and have since recovered, or have been tested negative. These residents have to remain within their block until the following additional steps are completed.

Step 2: Actions by Dormitory Operator

Dormitory operators are required to complete a checklist to:
•    Provide MOM with an up-to-date register of all residents housed in the dormitory.
•    Demonstrate ability to implement tight entry and exit controls.
•    Show that facility and housing arrangements limit inter-mixing. In particular, the residential blocks must be physically segregated from one another.
•    Set aside sick bay beds and isolation facilities to facilitate quick containment if there is an infection.
•    Work with employers to plan staggered pick-up and drop-off times.

 For more details, please refer to Safe Living Checklist as detailed in the Advisory for Dormitory Operators.

Step 3: Actions by Employer

Employers are required to:
•    Confirm or update the addresses for each migrant worker in the Online Foreign Worker Address Service (OFWAS).
•    Show proof of approval by relevant government agencies to resume work.
•    Provide dormitory operators with the list of workers who had been approved to start work and plan staggered pick-up and drop-off time by the company’s dedicated transport.
Step 4: Actions by Migrant Workers

Workers are required to:
•    Monitor their health and report their daily health status using the MOM FWMOMCare mobile application.
•    Update their location and mobile numbers using the FWMOMCare mobile application.
•    Download and activate the latest version of the TraceTogether mobile application. MOM will also issue an Advisory for Employers on the additional responsibilities of employers and workers for Safe Living. MOM will be translating the additional responsibilities for workers into their native languages for dissemination.

Besides measures to enable workers to return to work safely, new practices and dormitory arrangements are also needed for their social activities on rest days. The following will apply to Cleared Blocks/Dormitories which have been checked and approved by MOM:

Phase One – “Safe Opening”

Workers can only leave their dormitories for work, using designated transport provided by their employers. Their employers must ensure that they return to the dormitories immediately after they finish work. On rest days, the workers will be required to remain in the dormitories. Employers must ensure that all their workers living in the dormitories continue to have access to food and daily necessities, regardless of whether they are eligible to work.

Phase Two – “Safe Transition”

When infection rates in the community and dormitories have been sustained at low levels for a period of time, eligible workers will be able to run errands outside the dormitories on their rest days. To minimise the risk of large group movements, they will do so on staggered rest days and at staggered timeslots. A system will be introduced to enable eligible workers to apply for their preferred timeslots.

For a start, they may leave the dormitories for up to two hours on their designated rest days to travel to one of eight Recreational Centres. Dormitories will be required to provide dedicated transport, either on their own or in partnership with one another, to shuttle the workers to and from the Recreational Centres. These arrangements will be regularly reviewed.

Phase Three – “Safe Nation”

Rest days will continue to be staggered. Eligible workers will be able to leave dormitories for longer durations and to more locations on their designated rest days.