Industry Insights

Additional Covid-19 testing for maids, confinement nannies entering S'pore

Posted on 23/02/2021 by Paula Formantes


There will be additional coronavirus testing measures for foreign domestic workers and confinement nannies landing in Singapore from Friday (Feb 5), said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday.

This will apply to workers with travel history in territories the government deems as high risk due to the prevalence of Covid-19 infection there.

Newly arrived work permit holders and S-pass holders in the construction, marine, and process sectors will also be required to undergo a seven-day testing regime after their stay-home notice (SHN). This additional requirement will apply to workers who have yet to complete their SHN by Feb 5, and all new arrivals from that day onwards.

Under this new measure, workers will spend these seven days at a designated facility and undergo additional swab tests when they start work. This is after they have completed their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities on arrival and undergone a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

The additional seven-day testing regime has already been required of workers staying in dormitories since Jan 6.

MOM said that the multi-ministry task force made the decision to extend the testing measures to further reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in the workplace.

From Friday, foreign domestic workers and confinement nannies will have to take a serology test on arrival, in addition to a PCR test that has been mandatory since Jan 24.

This will distinguish workers who have recovered from a past Covid-19 infection from active cases. Those who test positive for antibodies in the serology test can be released from SHN, which will reduce costs for employers who must pay for the SHN.

Foreign workers in the construction, marine, and process sectors have already been subject to both PCR and serology tests on arrival in Singapore since Jan 18. Those who have antibodies will be exempted from SHN, the seven-day testing regime, and rostered routine testing to minimize disruption to work and reduce costs for employers.

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