Singapore takes small step in easing controls on migrant workers

Singapore will allow some migrant workers, who have largely been confined to dormitories, to visit recreation centres as the city-state gradually relaxes measures to stem the spread of Covid-19.

The more than 300,000 overseas workers have been confined to their living quarters since April, and have only been allowed out in recent months to go to work and for essential errands, after the coronavirus ripped through the tightly packed dormitories. That’s even as life has been slowly returning to normal for local Singaporeans and white-collar expatriates.

They will also be allowed to visit restaurants, mini marts and other outlets at selected recreation centres on their days off from Oct. 31, the Ministry of Manpower said in a statement. Visits must be booked in advance via a smartphone application with dormitory operators checking that workers have valid passes before being allowed to leave.

The relaxation of controls on the workers comes after more than two months of trials and with infection rates in the community and dormitories having stayed at low levels, the ministry said. Around 30,000 workers have already booked exit passes as part of the trials.

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