Singapore to Curb Entry of Foreign Workers to Blunt Covid Spread
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore will reduce approvals for foreign workers planning to enter the country in the coming weeks, and delay the arrivals of many of those already approved to enter, the government said Friday.
The move, aimed at reducing imported cases of Covid-19, came hours before Singapore is set to launch a three-week crackdown that will limit the size of group gatherings to five. The government earlier this week had already extended travel quarantine to 21 days from the current 14, except for travelers from lower-risk places.
Under the new measures, the city-state will stop accepting new entry applications for work pass holders from higher-risk countries with immediate effect, except for those “needed for key strategic projects and infrastructural works.” Singapore defines “high-risk” countries to mean all countries and regions except Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
Those already approved will generally not be allowed to enter either from May 11, and will have to reapply later. There are narrow exceptions for some construction, marine shipyard and process work pass holders and some foreign domestic workers who have already received approval.
“We will inform employers on when to re-apply for entry when the situation has stabilised and will prioritise them for entry approval then,” the ministry said in a statement, adding it would reach out to affected employers and work pass holders to inform them of the changes.
“We seek the understanding and cooperation of work pass holders and their employers for these changes,” the ministry said. “They are necessary to enable workers to enter in a safe and calibrated manner, and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 importation.”
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