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Indicative Forecast for Clearance of Migrant Worker Dormitories

  1. The Inter-Agency Task Force is systematically and progressively clearing all remaining dormitories in the coming months. Our aim is to test and clear workers as quickly as we can, while safeguarding the good health of all residents by ensuring that they are tested negative or have recovered from COVID-19 before resuming work. As at 15 June, about 75,000 migrant workers have been cleared of COVID-19 infections and are staying in cleared premises.

  2. We are providing an indicative forecast of dormitories and blocks to be cleared in the coming weeks, to aid employers and dormitory operators in their planning. The schedule can be found here.

  3. The order of clearance of blocks and dormitories are based on various factors including: the number of recovered workers originally from the dormitory and who have been discharged; the spread of COVID-19 in the dormitory; and inputs from the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) and Economic Development Board (EDB).

  4. The timing of clearance is also subject to revision, as it depends on several factors: 

    • Screening outcomes: Sometimes one test is not enough – workers may have to go through a few tests, and be isolated for a certain period of time. This is to make sure they are clear of COVID-19 and not incubating the virus. On the other hand, in some dormitories, a single round of tests is able to clear many blocks without a further test.  

    • Adherence to Safe Distancing Measures (SDM): Clearance may be delayed if residents are not sufficiently stringent in practising safe distancing. For example, a purpose-built dormitory with a low infection rate has seen its expected clearance date pushed back by at least a month, because residents did not maintain strict SDM, and several instances of residents visiting other rooms were detected.

  5. Even after all workers in the dormitory/block are assessed to be cleared of COVID-19 infections, it is important to ensure that work resumes safely. All stakeholders – dormitory operators, employers, migrant workers – must make final preparations before approval is granted for workers to resume work (details can be found here).

  6. As the workers resume work, they will have exposure to other co-workers who may be living elsewhere. This is why they will continue to be regularly tested to allow for early detection and swift isolation of new infections, to minimise chances of clusters forming.