In efforts to manage the coronavirus situation in Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it would not hesitate to revoke work passes and withdraw related privileges from employers or laborers who do not comply with the new entry rules.
According to MOM, the rule is applicable to all nationalities, to in-principle approval (IPA) holders who have not entered the country and those who hold dependant’s or long-term visit passes issued by the ministry.
Such measures were put into action following the statement by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo on 3 February that approximately 30,000 work pass holders of Chinese nationality who departed Singapore for Chinese New Year holidays have not returned.
A spokesman from MOM said around 200 applications have been approved a day after the new entry rules were enforced after 11.59pm on Saturday (8 February), The Straits Times reported.
He noted that those who worked in services such as healthcare, transport and waste management will be prioritized to avoid operations from being compromised.
Prior to this, about 600 work pass holders who traveled to China have been permitted to enter the country on 12 February.
MOM will also look into whether employers have arranged accommodation for their returning workers to serve the mandatory 14-day leave of absence (LOA).
Work pass holders who gained approval will get an approval letter from MOM, and they need to show it to airline staff at check-in and at the immigration checkpoint when they arrive in Singapore.
Previously, MOM announced on 9 February that it has suspended the work pass privileges of six employers and revoked the work pass for four workers after they were caught to have breached the LOA requirements.
According to MOM, the work pass holders were repatriated within 24 hours and banned permanently from working in Singapore. The six employers will not be allowed to hire work pass holders for two years.