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COVID-Safe Worker Accommodation and Transport

Summary of Cohorting Requirements [Updated on 14 August]


Note: With effect from 10 August 2020, the requirement for the workforce on construction sites and supply work premises to be limited to only 10 accommodations will be temporarily suspended to facilitate restart. Employers should still work towards housing their foreign workers together by project, but minimally by employer (preferably by the project sites they are deployed at) in as few accommodations as possible.

Cohorting requirements

[1] Type of work pass includes all Foreign Employees holding Work Permit or S-Pass in the construction sector

[2] Part time construction-site based employees should not be living in the same accommodation (for those living in non-dormitories) or room (for those living in dormitories or Government Sourced Facilities) as (a) non-construction site-based SP/WP holders (b) full time construction-site based SP/WP holders.

[3] Full time construction-site based employees should not be living in the same accommodation (for those living in non-dormitories) or room (for those living in dormitories or Government Sourced Facilities) as (a) non-construction site-based SP/WP holders (b) part-time construction site-based SP/WP holders.

[4] This excludes landed housing projects with less than 50 Work Permit (WP) holders in an application. Notwithstanding, employers are to (a) implement Safe Management Measures (SMM) on site as well as necessary hygiene precautions and practices at accommodation; (b) provide dedicated transport for their workers;

Summary of COVID-safe Dedicated Transport Requirements [Updated on 10 March 2021]

COVID safe transport requirements_10 Mar

[1] Type of work pass includes work permits or S-passes in the construction sector

[2] Non-dormitories include HDB and private residential properties

[3] Dormitories include purpose-built dorms, factory converted dorms, temporary occupation license quarters, construction temporary quarters and temporary living quarters

[4] Government Sourced Facilities are facilities set up by government for workers who have recovered from COVID-19 or decanted from dormitories.

[5] This includes those who work in site office

[6] Employers must work with dormitory operators to plan and coordinate pick-up times, pre-arrange and pre-pay for taxis/ PHVs and comply with relevant SMMs

[7] Employers to ensure their workers comply with relevant SMMs

[8] Workers residing in the same accommodation can travel in the same vehicle to / from multiple sites in a single trip. For workers residing in HDB/private residential premises, same accommodation refers to the same house unit. For workers who are already cohorted by project / employer in the same dormitory, they can travel in the same vehicle. 

Updated on 9 April 2021

[Updated on 21 July]
Can a Factory-Converted Dormitory (FCD) housing only workers of the same contractor but working on different sites be considered a dedicated accommodation?

Yes. Within the FCD, the premises have to be compartmentalised into separate zones so that workers working on different project sites do not mix with each other. Communal facilities such as toilets, and shower rooms also have to be separated and assigned to workers on different project sites. The contractor must put in place control measures to prevent the intermixing of workers. For example, installing CCTV for monitoring of workers or installation of physical barriers.

Can a Construction Temporary Quarters (CTQ) housing workers of the site, and workers of the same contractor/subcontractor but working at other sites be considered a dedicated accommodation?

No. The workers are not allowed to work on other sites.

[Updated on 9 April 2021]
Are Private Residential Properties (PRP) considered a dedicated accommodation for site-based construction workers?

Yes, provided that all the workers living at the PRP are cohorted by project (or minimially employer).

[Updated on 9 April 2021]
What are the specifications required for the Construction Temporary Quarters (CTQs) and the Temporary Occupation License Quarters (TOLQs)?

The specifications can be found at:
-       For CTQ/TOLQs: https://mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/foreign-manpower/housing/onsite-workers-quarters-application-form.docx
-        For FCDs: https://mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/foreign-manpower/housing/declaration-for-new-fcd.docx  

Contractors can consult and seek agencies’ approvals for CTQ/TOLQ/FCD before submitting to MOM for In-principle no-objection to erect the quarters. Contractors can refer to the guide for CTQ, TOLQ and FCD application in MOM’s website (https://www.mom.gov.sg/passess-and-permits/work-permit-forfor-foreign-worker/housing/various-types-of-housing) for more information/

[Updated on 21 July]
I have some employees currently living in a HDB/PRP and they need to work at the same location as workers living in a dormitory (i.e. working on same project). Do those employees living in the HDB/PRP need to move into the same dormitory as the workers?

It is not necessary for employers to cohort these HDB/PRP employees into dormitories. However, employers are to take note of the cohorting and safe transport requirements detailed  in Table 3: Summary of Cohorting Requirements and Table 4: Summary of COVID-safe Dedicated Transport Requirements respectively.

[Updated on 21 July]
Are my workers who are not staying in the specified dormitories allowed to take public transport during their off-days and non-working hours?

For workers not staying in dormitories, there are currently no guidelines or requirements on the workers’ transportation on off-days and non-working hours. Employers are encouraged to refer to MOM's website for new updates from time to time.

Employers should identify risks and request employees to avoid unnecessary commute during their off-day or non-working hours if the employees are assessed to be of higher risk of being infected with COVID-19 due to the role they play at the construction site. Where possible, employers may assist employees with their errands (i.e. purchase of groceries, provision of meals) to reduce their exposure to the public which may increase their chances of infection and pose risk to their projects.

[Added on 10 March 2021]
Can work permit holders staying in HDB and PRP take public transport to their worksite?

Due to the work nature of work permit holders working on construction sites and their interaction with other workers, employers need to provide dedicated transport for all work permit holders to/from the construction sites regardless of where the workers stay.

[Added on 10 March 2021]
My workers are residing in different dormitories but working in the same project. Can the same vehicle pick up the workers from the different dormitories in a single trip?

Employers are required to provide point-to-point dedicated transport for their workers. The same vehicle cannot do multiple pick-ups from different dormitories.

[Added on 10 March 2021]
Can the administrative staff e.g. draftsmen, engineers, working at site office (within construction site) take public transport? 

Dedicated transport has to be provided for work permit holders (residing in dormitory/ HDB/private residential premise) travelling to-and-fro construction sites during their course of work. This is to minimise inter-mixing with the commuters taking public transport and vice versa. Besides the company’s arranged vehicle, dedicated transport includes public hire vehicles and taxis. For non-site based workers working in corporate HQ, they are allowed to take public transport.

[Added on 10 March 2021]
Can S-Pass holder staying in non-dormitories e.g. HDB/ private residential premises travel in the same vehicle with his roommates who are work permit holders?

Yes, since they are residing together, they can travel in the same dedicated transport.

[Added on 10 March 2021]
Can S-Pass holder staying in non-dormitory travel in the same vehicle as workers who are staying in the dormitories?

No, vehicle ferrying workers from dormitory is not allowed to pick up workers from other accommodation.

[Added on 10 March 2021]
What is the definition of same accommodation i.e. must workers be from the same room or same block?

For workers residing in HDB/private residential premises, same accommodation refers to the same house unit. For workers who are already cohorted by project / employer in the same dormitory, the workers can travel in the same vehicle. The cohorted workers can be residing in different rooms / blocks within the dormitory but must be staying with other co-workers from the same project / employer.

[Added on 10 March 2021]
Must employers use the same vehicle to transport their workers to-and-fro construction sites? Can a different vehicle be used for the return trip?

Employers can use different vehicles to provide the required dedicated transport for work permit holders.

[Updated on 14 August]
How should companies and dorm operators initiate the worker cohorting process in PBDs and FCDs? 

The roles and responsibilities of employers and dormitories operators for cohorting  has been outlined in Annex A of the Circular on Cohorting Exercise for Construction, Process and Marine Sector Workers residing within FEDA-licensed dormitories issued on 7 Aug 2020. The circular may be accessible via the following webpage: https://go.gov.sg/bca-circular-cohorting-exercise

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