As Singapore moves into Phase 2 of its reopening, migrant workers will continue staying within their dormitories on their rest days to prevent a wave of new Covid-19 infections.
Workers will still be able to access communal facilities within the dormitories with safe distancing measures in place, said Singapore's Ministry of Manpower said in a press release on Thursday, reports the CNA.
"With daily movements in and out of the dormitories, we need to be vigilant to make sure that the workers remain Covid-19 free," said the ministry.
"There will already be some risk that infections are brought from workplaces back to the cleared dormitories. Movements of the workers beyond the workplaces will pose additional risks of cross-infections with the general community, in both directions."
The ministry said in the "immediate period entering into Phase 2" of reopening from June 19, workers will continue to stay within their dormitories on their rest days.
"A wave of new infections will set back the hard work of the many stakeholders and the workers themselves in clearing the dormitories over the past months," the ministry said.
Responding to queries on the duration of this "immediate period", the ministry said no specific date has been set.
The ministry of health added that when the infection rates in the community as well as the dormitories can be "sustained at lower levels for a longer period of time", workers at cleared dormitories and blocks will have the opportunity to leave their dormitories to run personal errands at approved locations.
"The gradual restoration of a normal way of life for dormitory residents will give them a better chance of remaining healthy and continuing to earn a livelihood for themselves and their families," said the ministry.
In May, Singapore's ministry of manpower announced that under Phase 2 of Singapore's post-circuit breaker period, migrant workers living in dormitories that have been cleared of Covid-19 infections will be able to run errands outside their dormitories on staggered rest days and on time slots of up to two hours at a time.
Under Phase 3, rest days for migrant workers living in cleared dormitories will continue to be staggered, with eligible workers being able to leave the dormitories for a longer duration and to more locations on these rest days.
On Apr 21, all migrant workers living in dormitories were told to stop work and were not allowed to move in and out of their dormitories until May 4.
The restriction on daily movement was later extended to June 1.
These measures were put in place to minimise the risk of further community transmission of Covid-19, according to authorities.