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Employers must ensure that workers undergo routine COVID-19 swab test by Sep 5

Employers must ensure that workers undergo routine COVID-19 swab test by Sep 5

A medical worker performs a nose swab test on a migrant worker at a dormitory amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore, Apr 28, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Employers must ensure that their workers have completed a COVID-19 swab test in the past 14 days by Sep 5, as part of measures to ensure the safe restart of work, authorities said on Saturday (Aug 22).

Those who have not done so will not be able to return to work, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) said in a joint news release.

Workers who are staying in dormitories and those in the construction, marine and process sectors, as well as those going into the work sites, are required to undergo rostered routine testing every 14 days.

READ: 40,000 foreign workers can resume renovation, certain types of work without needing BCA approval

To date, about 16,000 employers have scheduled their workers for rostered routine testing using HPB’s swab registration system, the authorities said.

About 102,000 workers who need to undergo routine testing have yet to be scheduled for a swab test.

BCA has taken action against a group of firms and workers who have failed to undergo rostered routine testing despite multiple reminders. About 280 workers had their approval to resume work rescinded, and will only be allowed to return to work once they have undergone their routine test.

READ: All remaining quarantine facilities in migrant worker dormitories cleared of COVID-19: MOM

READ: COVID-19: Authorities monitoring migrant worker dorms to manage risk of outbreaks after new cases reported 

“Employers are reminded to quickly schedule appointment slots for their workers if they have not done so, to avoid disruption to business operations,” the agencies added.

They can view the available locations in the swab registration system when booking appointment dates. These locations include 18 regional screening centres and purpose-built dormitories across Singapore, including the Old Police Academy, The Float @ Marina Bay, PPT Lodge 1B, Tampines Dormitory and Sungei Tengah Dormitory.

Workers will be automatically assigned new test dates for future swabs after they are scheduled for the first test. Employers should also log in to the registration system regularly to check if there are any new workers whom they need to schedule appointments for.

“We will be continuously adding new workers as their dormitories are cleared, and the workers become due for rostered routine testing,” the authorities said.

READ: COVID-19 cases detected again in cleared migrant worker dorms, about 7,000 quarantined due to new infections

Rostered routine testing for workers is among the measures announced earlier this month to ensure the safe restart of work. Other measures include grouping migrant workers in dormitories according to the type of industries they work in, implementing safe distancing measures and conducting contact tracing once a new case is detected. 

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Source: CNA/ga(mi)