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Joint MOM-BCA-EDB Press Release on Enabling Targeted Quarantining through Contact-Tracing Devices for more than 450,000 Migrant Workers

  1. The Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group, in partnership with the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, the Building and Construction Authority, the Economic Development Board and industry partners such as The Singapore Contractors Association, will be distributing more than 450,000 contact-tracing devices to all migrant and local workers living or working in dormitories, as well as those1 in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors. The distribution of the devices will be carried out in phases from 18 October 2020 and is expected to be completed by early November 2020.

  2. The contact-tracing devices (BluePass tokens), are purpose-built for the dormitory and worksite environment. They are compact and water-resistant, and can be worn at all times. They will be interoperable with and complement the use of the TraceTogether app on migrant workers’ smartphones, as some workers may not always be carrying their phones at work and at the dormitories.

  3. The ACE Group and sector agencies will trial and evaluate how these tokens function and perform in the rugged work environments, and how the data from the tokens can help improve contact tracing and the quarantine process when new COVID-19 cases are detected. This will benefit employers and workers because only close contacts will be isolated, thereby minimising any work disruptions2. Data can also be extracted from the tokens, to assess the extent of intermixing amongst the workers.  This can help employers and workers better understand how preventive measures can be taken to minimise intermixing and potential transmission of the virus.

  4. The contact-tracing devices will be distributed with the support of the Forward Assurance and Support Teams (FAST) to migrant workers living in purpose-built dormitories. Workers living in other types of accommodation will be issued their devices at Regional Screening Centres (for Rostered Routine Tests). Self-collection points will be set up for workers residing in decant sites and other forms of accommodation. Employers and workers will be informed of the collection dates subsequently. 


    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


  1. How does the contact-tracing device work?

    When there is a COVID-positive case, the contact-tracing device will retrieve the close-contact data which will then be sent to MOH.

  2. How does the migrant worker wear the device? Will it obstruct their work?

    The device can be worn on their wrist with a velcro strap like a watch, so that it would not obstruct their work.

  3. What kind of personal data will be collected by the device?

    The device only collects close-contact data from other devices. The data on the device is encrypted, with no personal identifiable information stored on the device.

  4. Do the employers need to pay for the devices?

    Employers in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors or those with workers residing in dormitories need not pay for the devices for the first year. MOM is evaluating the cost for future deployment.

FOOTNOTE

  1. This refers to all Work Permit and S-Pass holders in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors. Other individuals, such as locals and Employment Pass holders, who work at these worksites and dormitories, will also be given the contact tracing devices.
  2. This will be possible if workers carry the device at all times.