[Updated 6 Aug 2020]

Testing of all migrant workers in the dormitories will be completed by 7 August 2020. In other words, all dormitories will be COVID-cleared, with the exception of several standalone blocks which serve as quarantine facilities.

Workers in these quarantine facilities will be tested when their isolation ends. Case counts will remain high.

After completing their isolation, most of the workers will be able to resume work, as soon as dormitory operators and their employers complete the necessary preparations to do so in a safe manner.

With the completion of dormitory clearance, and facilitation of resumption of work by sector agencies, the vast majority of dormitory residents is expected to be able to resume work by mid- to late August.


The circuit breaker measures so far have helped to substantially reduce COVID-19 infections, with the number of new cases in the community falling to 8 new cases daily, as of 12 May.

Progress has been made in controlling the outbreak in the migrant worker dormitories:

  • Number of workers from dormitories reporting sick daily has dropped
  • 1,735 migrant workers have recovered and been discharged
  • As many as 20,000 workers may be ready for discharge by the end of May

Systematic clearance of dorms

As of 12 May, more than 32,000 migrant workers have been tested and more than 3,000 workers are tested daily.

In anticipation of measures being eased after the circuit breaker period ends, there is a need to ensure the health of all migrant workers before they return to work.

Hence, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce has in place a plan to systematically test all workers in the dormitories. This involves the use of both COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and serological tests.

COVID-19 PCR tests:

  • Detects if someone is currently infected
  • Accepted testing standard used so far in Singapore, and globally

Serological tests:

  • Detects if the person has had a past COVID-19 infection, by detecting antibodies to COVID-19 in a blood sample
  • Typically, those who have been infected more than 10-14 days ago will test positive
  • Used in research and among selected populations so far

Strategy will involve both tests

Dorms with higher levels of infection

  • Serological testing
  • Those tested positive are deemed to have been infected in the past, and would no longer be infectious after a period of isolation.
  • Those tested negative will undergo a PCR test

All other dorms

  • PCR testing
  • Those tested negative will be isolated for 14 days before another test to confirm that they are negative.

Read more here.