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Advisory to dormitory operators and employers - Updates on healthcare protocol for migrant workers in dormitories

Issued on 10 October 2021

  1. The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on 9 October 2021 that contacts of COVID-19 cases will be issued with an Antigen Rapid Test (ART)-based Health Risk Warning (HRW), that will last seven days from the day of its issuance. This approach will take effect on 11 October 2021.
  2. In line with MOH’s updated protocols, migrant workers who are contacts of COVID-19 cases and issued with a HRW, will be required to:
    • On the first day of the HRW issuance: Perform a mandatory ART self-test under supervision. If the ART result is negative, they will be allowed to leave their dormitory and go to work.
    • On the second to seventh day of HRW issuance: They should test negative for their ART on the same day before leaving the dormitory for work and other activities.
  3. Workers who tested positive for their ART will follow the management protocol detailed in Table 1 below:

    Table 1

    Group of workers Ag+: If tested positive on the ART
    Fully vaccinated workers who are asymptomatic
    • Recover in a dorm recovery facility (DRF) or a centralised recovery facility (CRF).
    • Repeat ART on Day 4 and Day 7 (if needed).
    • If test result is negative, will be discharged from DRF/CRF and allowed to return to work.
    • If test result is positive, remain in DRF/CRF and be discharged on Day 10.
    Unvaccinated workers
    Symptomatic workers (regardless of vaccination status)
    • Undergo confirmatory PCR test.
    • Isolate in dormitory isolation facility (DIF) or swab isolation facility (SIF) while pending PCR test result.
    • If test result is negative, allowed to return to work.
    • If test result is positive, the worker will be conveyed to a community care facility (CCF) or hospital depending on their condition.
  4. For workers who are vaccinated with the World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) e.g. Sinovac, they will now go through the same management protocol as those vaccinated with the Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR)-approved COVID-19 vaccine (e.g. Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty) in the dormitories.
  5. For roommates of the ART-positive workers in the dormitories, they should test themselves using ART if necessary and monitor their health.
  6. Workers who live in private residential premises will follow the public healthcare protocols of the community.

    Migrant workers currently under quarantine
  7. With this updated protocol, we will be phasing the exit of workers currently under quarantine in a Government Quarantine Facility (GQF). They will have their Quarantine Order (QO) lifted, once they meet the following requirements:
    1. Served at least 7 days of quarantine; and
    2. Tested negative for their ART on the day of their exit from the GQF.
  8. Workers in the GQF who have served at least 7 days of quarantine but tested positive on their ART will undergo different treatment based on their vaccination status detailed in Table 1.
  9. For workers under quarantine in their dormitories, we will also arrange for their ART in the next few days. They will also have their QO lifted if they test ART-negative.
  10. Employers will be informed in a separate email from MOM once the workers’ QO can be lifted. For the workers who are in the Government Quarantine Facilities, transportation will be arranged for the workers to return to their dormitories.
  11. For further queries, please contact us at .
  12. Thank you for supporting us in our fight against COVID-19.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Are there differences in treatment of vaccinated and unvaccinated migrant workers if they receive an HRW?

    No. All migrant workers will be required to do a mandatory ART self-test under supervision on the first day of the HRW issuance.

    If the ART result turns out negative, they will be allowed to work