Under the new measures, COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for approvals of new work passes and renewals.
At the point of application, employers have to declare that both work pass holders and their dependents are fully vaccinated upon arrival in Singapore.
Work pass holders and their dependents will also need to submit their vaccination certificates for verification. Individuals who are medically ineligible for vaccination and children aged below 12 are exempted from the vaccination requirement. Children aged between 12 and 18 can also continue to make a declaration to complete the full vaccination regimen after arriving in Singapore, unaffected by the new policy.
Additionally, grant of new permanent residence, long-term visit passes, and student passes will also depend on applicants’ vaccination status.
The new measures are an extension of the existing policy that requires long-term pass holders to be vaccinated for entry into Singapore since November.
“These measures will help sustain our high vaccination rates and facilitate the safe reopening of our society and economy,” said the ministry.
Around 96 percent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated so far, representing 87 percent of Singapore’s total population. Meanwhile, 36 percent of the total population has taken up booster shots.
Vaccination Required at Workplace
On top of stricter immigration controls, vaccination-differentiated measures at the workplace are also toughened.
Unvaccinated employees will be barred from entering the workplace from Jan. 15 next year, even if they are tested negative for COVID-19. This is a tightening from the previous announcement that allowed unvaccinated individuals to go back to the workplace conditional on negative pre-event testing results.
The change in policy came “following the review and discussion with tripartite partners,” and will “help to protect unvaccinated individuals and to create safer workplaces for everyone,” according to the MOH.
Meanwhile, partially vaccinated employees will be given a grace period and allowed to enter the workplace with negative pre-event testing results until Jan. 31.
The ministry also encouraged regular testing of all employees and will start a second round of distribution of free antigen rapid test (ART) kits to workplaces not on mandatory rostered routine testing.