SINGAPORE: Operators of workers’ dormitories have been required to adopt additional measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission since Wednesday (Apr 1), said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). 

These measures include no inter-mixing of workers between dormitory blocks, with workers “strongly advised” to stay in their rooms and minimise physical interactions, said MOM in an email to operators seen by CNA.

This follows stricter safe distancing measures announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Mar 24, and MOM’s updating of its advisory on safe distancing measures at workplaces, the ministry said.

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Should workers be out of their rooms, dormitory operators should put in place
safe distancing measures such as ensuring workers maintain a 1m spacing in areas
within dormitory premises as well as clearly marking out queue lines at turnstile entry and exit points, spaced at least 1m apart, said MOM.

At dining areas, seats must be spaced at least 1m apart and clearly marked, with workers advised not to share food.

Operators will need to check that workers comply and MOM will take “enforcement action” against dormitory operators who do not implement safe distancing measures, it said.

MOM had on Feb 11 issued an updated advisory on enhanced precautionary measures in dormitories such as the suspension of all mass activities as well as the staggering of the usage of common dormitory facilities.

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Two new clusters involving workers’ dormitories were identified in the past week – the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol (2 Seletar North Link) and Westlite Toh Guan dormitory (18 Toh Guan Road East). 

All close contacts of the confirmed cases at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol have been quarantined as a precautionary measure, with contact tracing in progress for the cases at Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory, said MOM.

The dormitory operators have also been instructed to put in place additional measures until Apr 12. These include monitoring the health status of residents in the affected blocks before entering and leaving the dormitory, as well as ensuring residents in unaffected blocks do not enter the ones affected.

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