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Advisory to employers - Rostered Routine Testing and charging policy for workers in Construction, Marine, and Process sectors, and in dormitories

Issued on 9 September 2021

  1. As we resume more activities, Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) remains a critical part of our strategy in mitigating COVID-19 transmission risks in the Construction1, Marine 2 and Process3 (CMP) sectors and in dormitories4. All workers5 (vaccinated and unvaccinated), who are at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 will be required to continue with RRT. From 1 October 2021, workers will also need to take additional Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) in between the RRT. More frequent testing will help us to detect COVID-positive cases more quickly and reduce the quarantine ring that arises from each case and decrease disruption to businesses and to migrant workers’ life and work.

    Vaccinate or Regular Testing (VoRT) Regime and charging policy
  2. From 1 October 2021, all workers in the Construction, Marine and Process sectors, as well as those residing in dormitories, will have to administer Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) in between their RRT. Vaccinated workers will have one additional ART in between their RRT while unvaccinated workers will have three additional ART tests to meet the Vaccinate or Regular Testing (VoRT) requirements (i.e. two tests per week). Ahead of the implementation of VoRT and to prepare the sectors and dormitories, the Building Construction Authority (BCA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) had earlier announced the phase-in of mandatory Employer-Supervised Self-Swab (ESSS) ART on top of RRT for the construction sector, marine and process sectors respectively (see advisories in Annex A). The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has also started progressively phasing in ART for migrant workers residing in the dormitories since 23 August 2021, and this will be made mandatory from 13 September 20216.
  3. On 27 August 2021, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced that the Government will continue to subsidise the cost of Rostered Routine Testing (RRT)7 for vaccinated workers until 31 December 2021. This includes the provision of subsidised ART kits to workers required for the baseline tests8. For unvaccinated workers on VoRT regime, the Government will similarly cover the cost of the same tests that vaccinated workers are subjected to. From 1 October 2021, the cost of the two additional ART tests to be taken by the unvaccinated workers will be borne by the workers or their employers9. The respective testing regimes for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers are summarised in Table 1 below. The testing regimes will be reviewed regularly as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

    Table 1: Testing regimes for workers

    Worker groups on 14D RRT Regime Baseline tests
    Government to bear the cost of RRT and provide subsidised ART kits for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers
    Additional tests under VoRT
    Workers and employers to bear the cost of additional ART to be taken by unvaccinated workers from 1 October 2021
    Vaccinated workers 14 Day Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) RRT, with Day 7 ART Nil
    Unvaccinated workers Day 3 and Day 11 ART (i.e. 2 additional ART tests per 14-day RRT cycle)
    Declaration of medical ineligibility and vaccination status
  4. For the small group of workers who are medically ineligible for vaccines, the Government will continue to subsidise the costs for all their required tests until 31 December 2021. Employers are required to declare the medical status of their unvaccinated workers who are medically ineligible to complete the COVID-19 vaccination by 13 September 2021 to confirm their eligibility for the subsidised ART kits.

    Table 2: Medical declaration forms

    Workers residing in dormitories go.gov.sg/mom-vax-declaration
    Workers in construction sector NOT residing in dormitories go.gov.sg/bcadeclaremiconstruction
    Workers in shipyard, marine and process sectors NOT residing in dormitories go.gov.sg/edb-marine-process-vax-declaration
    Collection of ART Kits
  5. From 1 October 2021, the respective collection methods for the subsidised ART kits for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers in the CMP sectors and residing in dormitories are appended in Table 3 and 4 below.

    Table 3: Collection of ART Kits for vaccinated workers

    Worker groups on 14D RRT Regime No of ART Kits to collect (per RRT cycle) Method of collection
    All workers residing in dormitories, including those in both CMP and non-CMP sectors 1 government-subsidised kit Workers may continue to collect the ART kits upon completing their RRT testing at their respective RRT sites, such as the in-dorm swab facilities or the Regional Screening Centres (RSCs) for dormitory-dwelling workers.
    Workers in CMP sectors and do not reside in dormitories Employers under BCA and EDB will be informed of arrangements to obtain the ART Kits at a later date. For more information, employers under CMP sectors may contact the agencies for further clarification.
    *For RRT eligible workers who do not undergo RRT at the in-dorm swab facilities and Regional Screening Centres, please contact MOM to arrange for your ART kits collection.

    Table 4: Collection of ART Kits for unvaccinated workers living in dormitories, or working in the CMP sectors

    Medical status No of ART Kits to collect (per RRT cycle) Method of collection
    Medically Ineligible 3 government -subsidised kits Same collection arrangement as vaccinated workers in the same worker group.
    Medically Eligible 1 government -subsidised kit

    For government subsidised kit, same collection arrangement as vaccinated workers in the same worker group.

    Employers are to purchase the 2 additional ART test kits per 14-day RRT cycle. Only ART self-test kits authorised by HSA should be used. See list of ARTs authorised by HSA.

    Employers can require these medically eligible but unvaccinated employees to pay for the additional test kits.

  6. For workers on a 7D RRT + D3 ART regime in high-risk sectors10 and dormitories, VoRT will not be applicable as there is no differentiated testing regime between vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. Government will continue to subsidise the costs of these tests for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers until 31 December 2021.
  7. Beyond 2021, employers and businesses should be prepared to factor in the costs of regular testing into their normal business operations. We will continue to review the testing subsidies to ensure they support our public health efforts, while sharing the costs equitably between taxpayers, employers, and individuals.
  8. We strongly urge all employers to encourage your workers to get vaccinated to ensure a COVID-19 safe environment for everyone.
  9. For further queries, you may contact your respective sector leads:
    • Manufacturing or services sectors workers staying in dormitories
      Contact Ministry of Manpower: Online enquiry
    • Construction sector
      Contact Building Construction Authority: Online enquiry
    • Marine and process sectors
      Contact Economic Development Board: swab@edb.gov.sg

Regional Screening Centres (RSCs) for dormitory-dwelling workers

The following are Regional Screening Centres (RSCs) for workers living in dormitories, as listed on the Swab Registration System (SRS):

  • Cochrane Recreation Centre
    100 Sembawang Drive
    Singapore 756998
  • CSC Changi
    2 Netheravon Road
    Singapore 508503
  • Former Sepak Takraw Federation
    7 Bedok North Street 2
    Singapore 469646
  • Penjuru Recreation Centre
    27 Penjuru Walk
    Singapore 608538
  • 67 Sungei Tengah
    Singapore 699008
  • Terusan Recreation Centre
    1 Jalan Papan
    Singapore 619392
  • Turf Club
    1 Turf Club Avenue
    Singapore 738078

FOOTNOTE

  1. Construction sector includes persons (regardless of the job nature -front-facing or back-end jobs) under any of the following categories:
    1. Employee of any construction firms (primary business activity is listed under SSIC 41, 42 or 43);
    2. Employee of firms which are registered under the BCA’s Contractors Registry Regulatory Workheads RW02 (Lift contractors) and RW03 (Escalator contractors); or
    3. All work pass holders (including Employment Pass / S Pass / Work Permit Holders) whose work passes state that they are hired under the Construction sector
  2. Marine sector covers Shipyards, Resident Contractors and Common Contractors as per the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM)’s Marine Shipyard sector definition, and other companies under Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) codes 28112, 28241, 30110, 30120.
  3. Process sector covers both Association of the Process Industry (ASPRI) endorsed Process Construction & Maintenance (PCM) companies and relevant Petroleum/Petrochemicals and other Chemical facilities (collectively known as E&C plant owners/facilities).
  4. Purpose-Built Dormitories, Factory-Converted Dormitories, Construction Temporary Quarters, Temporary Occupation License Quarters. For frontline workers working in dormitories, Migrant Worker Onboarding Centres and Recreation Centres, MOM will announce the details of the implementation of the VoRT separately.
  5. Work permit holders, Singapore citizens and permanent residents.
  6. Your workers residing in dormitories will see their ART schedules and receive notifications for their ART test dates on FWMOMCARE from 9 Sep 2021. Please refer to the previous Advisory on Antigen Rapid Tests for migrant workers residing in dormitories issued on 27 August 2021. More details of the ART process, including FAQs are available in the Antigen Rapid Test guide for employers.
  7. RRT for workers in the Construction, Marine and Process (CMP) sectors and dormitories include both PCR and ART.
  8. The subsidy of the baseline tests is in addition to the time-limited distribution of ART kits to employers, as announced by the MTF on 6 September 2021. More details will be made available at a later date.
  9. Refer to the Advisory on COVID-19 vaccination at the workplace issued on 23 August 2021.
  10. High-risk sectors refer to border facing worksites such as Marine shipyards, Petroleum/Petrochemical Process Terminals, Port Terminals, aviation, and maritime workers etc.