Additional Covid testing measures for new maids, confinement nannies
There will be additional coronavirus testing measures for foreign domestic workers and confinement nannies landing in Singapore from tomorrow, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday.
They will have to take a serology test on arrival, in addition to a polymerase chain reaction (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 and negative in the PCR test can be released from their stay-home notice (SHN), which MOM said would reduce the costs for employers who have to pay for the SHN.
The cost of testing for foreign domestic workers is currently borne by employers, while the cost of SHN can be split between the employment agencies and employers, depending on their individual arrangements.
An MOM spokesman said the ministry will be reaching out to affected employers this week.
Foreign workers in the construction, marine and process sectors have, since Jan 18, already been subject to PCR and serology tests on arrival in Singapore. Those who have antibodies will be exempted from the SHN, the seven-day testing regime and rostered routine testing, in order to minimise disruption to work and reduce costs for employers, MOM said.
MOM also announced that newly arrived work permit holders and S Pass holders in the construction, marine and process sectors will now be required to do the post-SHN seven-day testing regime. This additional requirement will apply to all who have yet to complete their SHN by tomorrow 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 complete their 14-day SHN at a dedicated facility on arrival and take a PCR test.
The additional seven-day testing regime has already been required of workers staying in dormitories since Jan 6.