In view of the resurgence of COVID 19 cases and the emergence of new virus variants, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced on 7 May (see below) that the Government will be reducing entry approvals for work pass holders and their dependants (including In-principle approval (IPA) holders) entering Singapore in the coming weeks. We wish to highlight the following which you may find useful:
– Singapore is not closing borders to work pass holders and dependants, but reducing entries from higher risk countries*. This means some work pass holders who had earlier obtained entry approvals will be rescheduled to arrive in later weeks instead. MOM will inform affected employers in June on when they can re-apply. Please assure that EuroCham members will be prioritised for entry approval. (* As of 7 May, this refers to all countries / regions except Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Mainland China, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.)
– Work pass holders needed for key strategic and infrastructural works will still be allowed to enter Singapore. Employers of such projects can approach their respective sector agencies for assistance.
– Work pass holders already given or are seeking entry approval to enter Singapore from lower-risk countries/regions, or under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA), Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and other approved travel lanes will not be affected.
– As the Government needs to reschedule those affected, they will not be accepting new entry applications from higher-risk countries/regions for the time being.
MOM has begun sending emails to affected work pass holders and their employers of the changes. Those who are scheduled to arrive this week should have received an email over the weekend, and others by this week. The Government will also extend the IPAs of affected pass holders to allow for more time to apply for entry approval when the situation stabilises.
These changes are necessary to enable workers to enter in a safe and calibrated manner and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 importation to protect Singapore’s public health.