Unvaccinated Staff Not Allowed To Enter The Office
SINGAPORE – Starting next year, medically qualified workers who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 shall not be permitted to enter their workplaces in Singapore, reported The Business Times on Saturday (23 October, SGT).
Still, exceptions will be made for uninoculated employees as long as they test negative during a pre-event test conducted by an approved tester, or they have recovered from the said illness in the last 270 days. However, such persons will need to shoulder the cost of the test.
These new guidelines were announced by Singapore’s multi-ministry taskforce against COVID-19 on Saturday.
Moreover, the mandatory testing will not apply to medically ineligible workers, and employers are urged to grant special considerations to such groups, like permitting them to work from home (WFH). Employers are also strongly encouraged to give special consideration to their pregnant staff.
Meanwhile, persons who are medically unqualified for all vaccines under Singapore’s national vaccination programme will be exempt from vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (SMM) starting on 1 November 2021.
“We will give a special concession for them to enter premises or participate in activities where the vaccination-differentiated safe management measures are required, such as shopping malls, attractions, hawker centres and coffee shops,” said taskforce Co-chair Gan Kim Yong, who is also the minister for Trade and Industry.
Given that around 96 percent of the country’s workforce are fully inoculated, roughly 113,000 staff remain unvaccinated and more than 10 percent of the latter are seniors, he noted.
According to Sim Gim Guan, Executive Director of Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), the government’s announcement of barring unvaccinated staff from the workplace starting on 1 January 2022 gives ample time for such individuals to take the jab.
“As more employees return to the workplace, having all employees vaccinated will better protect the employees as well as visitors.”
“SNEF strongly encourages unvaccinated employees that are not medically ineligible for vaccination to do so. This will help keep them, their co-workers, as well as their loved ones safe as we move towards living with COVID-19,” Sim added.