Circuit Breaker: Workplaces face tighter measures

'We will reduce the number of businesses allowed to operate at their work premises, especially businesses that are less critical'

Circuit Breaker: Workplaces face tighter measures

Following Singapore’s Circuit Breaker extension, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced tightened measures for workplaces.

During the national address on Tuesday (21 June), Prime Minister Lee explained the need to close additional workplaces to minimise the movement and interaction between people and curb the spread of COVID-19.

MTI said they will inform businesses that are ‘less critical’ for daily living or those part of essential supply chains. Upon notification, affected businesses will have 24hours to wind down their operations completely.

However, the ministry added that some businesses with approvals to operate during the original Circuit Breaker till May 4 can continue doing so until June 1.

“We will reduce the number of businesses allowed to operate at their work premises, especially businesses that are less critical for daily living or to maintain essential supply chains,” said MTI.

“This will mean that some businesses which are currently permitted to operate at their work premises will be required to suspend their on-site activities.

“The affected businesses will be notified by MTI and will have 24 hours upon notification to wind down their business operations completely. While this may mean some degradation of services, it is necessary to further reduce the number of workers in essential firms and minimise the risks of transmission among workers.”

READ MORE: Circuit Breaker: How can HR support employees?

Essential workplaces
For workplace premises allowed to remain open, MTI reminded employers that they must put in place effective measures to avoid transmission of COVID-19.

Such measures include:

  • Not allowing teams working in different locations to interact physically with one another
  • Implementing safe distancing measures at every workplace premise
  • Ensuring workers wear masks at work

MTI encouraged workers permitted to work during the Circuit Breaker to use SafeEntry, a digital check-in application, to log their entry into and exit from their workplaces. This will assist in contact tracing efforts by the authorities.

READ MORE: MOM puts construction sector under mandatory quarantine

Foreign workers
Additionally, as announced by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce, from April 22 onwards, workers are not allowed to move in and out of all dormitories.

MTI reminded employers they’re required to ensure that their foreign workers have appropriate housing options to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19.

Also, emphasising the need to reduce the number of workers allowed to work on-site, those living in the dormitories cannot commute to work during the lockdown period.

“Employers should inform affected workers of the new condition,” MTI said. “Employers should also ensure that food will be provided to their workers living in the respective living quarters.

“This can be arranged with the dormitory operators if they are already catering food for the workers. Employers can also make their own arrangements to ensure that food will be delivered to workers. The workers must remain in their residence as much as possible to reduce the risk of transmission.”

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