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New Requirements for Employers Who Have Work Pass Holders With Travel History to Mainland China Entering or Returning to Singapore

  1. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will implement new requirements for work pass holders with travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days, entering or returning to Singapore. This will enable the entry/return of work pass holders to be carried out in an orderly and well-managed way.
  2. All work pass holders with travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days and planning to enter/return to Singapore after 2359 hours, 8 February 2020, will be required to obtain MOM’s prior approval before they commence their journey. This is regardless of the nationality of the work pass holder. This requirement applies to:    
    a. Existing work pass holders currently out of Singapore; and
    b. In-Principle Approval (IPA) holders who have yet to enter Singapore.
  3. Upon arrival in Singapore, all work pass holders with travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days will be placed on a mandatory 14-day leave of absence (LOA) .
  4. Employers should inform their employees not to make travel plans to Singapore until the employers have sought and received approval from MOM. In seeking approval for the entry/return of these employees, the employers will be required to declare to MOM that they have arranged for suitable premises to house these returning employees for the duration of their LOA. The employers will be required to send the MOM approval letter to the employees who will need to show it to the airline staff upon check-in and at the ICA checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore, to gain entry into Singapore.
  5. MOM will not hesitate to take enforcement measures against errant employers or employees who do not comply with the requirements set out above, including the revocation of work passes and withdrawal of work pass privileges.
  6. Employers are to seek approval using this online facility. Approval can only be sought three days before the intended arrival date of these work pass holders.
  7. For further queries or clarifications, please contact:

Ministry of Manpower
MOM Contact Centre, Tel: (65) 6438 5122
Online Enquiry via this link: www.mom.gov.sg/feedback
Website: www.mom.gov.sg

Annex – Frequently asked questions:

  1. With regard to the pre-approval required on returning work pass holders with recent travel history to mainland China, how long will the application process take and what documentary proof is required?

    Approval can only be sought three days before the intended arrival date of these work pass holder. Employers are to seek approval using this online facility.
  2. Employers are required to declare in the application that they have secured appropriate housing arrangement for the employees to serve LOA, by having:

    • Obtained PRP/HDB landlords’ confirmation that they are agreeable to house the foreign workers throughout the LOA period; or
    • Booked a hotel room (with hotel name); or
    • Secured a dormitory room

    Employers who require assistance to secure accommodation for their employees can contact 1800-333-9999 or mom_qops@mom.gov.sg.
  3. How do I report persons who flout the LOA requirements?

    Members of public can contact MOM at mom_qops@mom.gov.sg or 6438 5122.
  4. What prompted the new measures to make LOA enforceable? How will MOM enforce and ensure that the foreign workers abide by the LOA requirements?

    MOM has made it clear from the onset that we will revoke the work pass of the employee and take further measures against the employer if we find that the employee has breached the LOA requirements.

    MOM will be stepping up monitoring and enforcement efforts so that persons serving LOA comply with the MOH guidelines.
  5. What is the distinction between LOA and HQO?    

    People on LOA are still allowed to leave their residences for daily necessities or urgent matters as they are assessed to be of lower risk. However, they should minimise time spent in public places and contact with others.    
  6. Who will bear the cost of accommodation for workers who are on LOA?

    Employers remain responsible for the upkeep and accommodation of their foreign employees under Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
  7. Are dependants of work pass holders subjected to the same requirements?

    Yes, persons holding a Dependant’s Pass (DP) or Long Term Visit Pass issued by the MOM and have a travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days and planning to enter/return to Singapore after 2359 hours, 8 February 2020, will be required to obtain MOM’s prior approval before they commence their journey.