In order to help Singapore’s beleaguered aviation sector, we’ve been opening up Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) for inoculated visitors to enter the country.
However, it seems not all foreigners can make use of VTLs, even if Singapore has one with their country.
Migrant workers who will be staying in dormitories are such a group – they are now not allowed to apply to enter Singapore via any VTL.
In a news release on Saturday (4 Dec), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said this new rule would take effort from Sunday (5 Dec).
It applies to all S-Pass and work permit holders in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process (CMP) sectors.
In fact, as long as a work pass holder entering Singapore is bound for dormitory accommodation, they won’t be allowed to use a VTL.
However, those who’ve already won entry approval before 5 Dec will be allowed entry, but must:
Their employers will be told more details, MOM said.
While this group of workers can’t apply for VTL, there are other avenues for them to enter Singapore, MOM noted.
They can apply for the Work Pass Holder General Lane. To do so, they must have a pass granted by MOM and entry approval to enter Singapore.
Another way to enter is via ongoing industry initiatives – including programmes that provide for testing and isolation in their home country.
Only these 2 avenues should be used as dorms and worksites are higher-risk settings, MOH said.
Hence, these lanes will allow workers to be safely onboarded before entering these places, meaning they’ll undergo procedures like:
The number of workers entering will also be regulated to ensure sufficient time for onboarding and meeting of industry needs.
There are some exceptions to this new rule, though.
Malaysian work pass holders are still allowed to enter Singapore via VTL.
Female work pass holders can also continue to apply for VTL entry, subject to the prevailing health protocols.
The reason for these exceptions are that the aforementioned workers “generally do not reside in dormitories”, MOM said.
Singaporeans will remember vividly how the majority of Covid-19 infections in 2020 came from migrant workers’ dorms.
Thus, many may be of the opinion that workers who’re going to stay in a dorm are at higher risk of infection.
While it might seem unfair that they can’t make use VTLs, it can be said that the authorities are going the extra mile to protect dorm residents and the community at large from the spread of Covid-19.
Do you think dorm residents should be able to make use of VTLs to enter Singapore? Do share your thoughts below.
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Featured image adapted from Ariffin Jamar on Facebook.
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