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Advisory on movement of migrant workers between cleared dormitories

Issued on 15 August 2020

  1. As all dormitories are now cleared of COVID-19, employers will be moving their workers out or into the cleared dormitories to facilitate cohorting arrangements to meet sectoral agencies’ COVID-Safe Accommodation requirement. This advisory guides employers and dormitory operators on the measures to take to minimise the risk of transmission as they facilitate the movement of workers to and across dormitories.

    Moving migrant workers out of cleared dormitories
  2. Currently, MOM’s prior approval must be sought before workers could be shifted out of their dormitories (or temporary Government-provided accommodation). This is to minimise movement and ensure that only healthy workers could move to new accommodation, to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 between dormitories and protect healthy workers from becoming infected.
  3. With the dormitories now cleared of COVID-19, employers and dormitory operators are no longer required to seek MOM’s prior approval as long as they take the following steps before moving their workers out of their current dormitories or Government-provided temporary accommodation:
    1. Dormitory operators and employers must check that the workers are healthy (based on AccessCode status of “Cleared” and “Recovered”) and not on Quarantine Order (QO) or Stay-Home Notice (SHN),
    2. Employers should schedule their workers for regular routine testing (RRT) through Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) Swab Registration System (SRS), and
    3. Dormitory operators must update their dormitory nominal rolls to either delete the outgoing workers or insert the incoming workers respectively. Employers need to update the workers’ new address in the Online Foreign Worker Address System (OFWAS) and ensure that the workers have downloaded and activated the FWMOMCare, SGWorkPass and TraceTogether mobile applications.
    Employers who are moving their workers into private residential premises (PRPs) and HDB flats are reminded that they can only house up to six workers per unit.

    Admitting new residents into cleared dormitories
  4. To minimise the risks of transmission when new workers are introduced into the cleared dormitories, dormitory operators1 should only admit new residents who are currently not serving Quarantine Order (QO) or Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and fulfil at least one of the criteria below:
    1. have been tested COVID-negative within the past 14 days; or
    2. have recovered from COVID within the past 180 days; or
    3. are required to move by the Joint Taskforce or sectoral agencies and has been undergoing RRT or Active Surveillance Swab.
  5. For new residents who do not meet these criteria, dormitory operators may admit them only if they are able to room them separately2 from the rest of the residents until they have been tested COVID-negative (“onboarding period”). In addition, these new residents can only leave the dormitory for work, to run essential errands, or for emergency purposes, during the onboarding period. The onboarding period minimises the risk of transmission to the dormitory population in the event that the new resident is infected with COVID. More details of the requirements for new residents can be found in the Annex.

    With immediate effect
  6. The above new measures will apply with immediate effect. We appreciate dormitory operators’ and employers’ cooperation in the implementation of these new measures to help keep the dormitories remain cleared of COVID-19.
  7. For further queries, please contact:

    Ministry of Manpower
    Online enquiry

Annex - Requirements for onboarding period

If the new residents need to be roomed separately from the rest of the residents, dormitory operators and employers are required to ensure the following:

  • Rooming arrangement3: New residents must be roomed according to their date of entry into the dormitory. If they are working during the onboarding period, new residents must be roomed with other new residents who are working at the same worksite, with the same date of entry into the dormitory.
  • Work: New residents who are allowed to work may continue to go to work, on condition that dormitory operators and employers can ensure no inter-mixing between the new residents and the rest of the residents. This includes making arrangements to designate or schedule the use of common pathways, pick-up and drop-off points, and other shared facilities.
    • Employers should ensure that these new residents do not intermix with other existing dormitory residents at the worksites and they return to the dormitories immediately after work.
  • Exiting the dormitory for non-work purposes: New residents should not apply for an Exit Pass during the onboarding period. They are only allowed to leave the dormitory to run essential errands or for emergencies, such as to seek medical help or for evacuation.


  1. This applies to operators of cleared dormitories housing seven or more migrant workers, including Purpose-Built Dormitories (PBDs), Factory-Converted Dormitories (FCDs), Construction Temporary Quarters (CTQs), Temporary Occupation Licence Quarters (TOLQs) and Temporary Living Quarters (TLQs), excluding Government-provided accommodation facilities (e.g. vacant HDB flats, old schools and sports halls).
  2. Dormitory operators should ensure that new residents are not housed in the same rooms as existing residents during the onboarding period. New residents should also have designated toilets for their exclusive use, which should not be shared with existing residents. Dormitory operators should also designate a section of other common amenities / facilities (e.g. recreational areas) for new residents, or schedule the use of such facilities, such that the new and existing residents do not intermix.
  3. Specifications of the rooms used to house new residents separately from other residents during the onboarding period, should be the same as that for other rooms in the cleared dormitory or block.

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