Migrants get taste of freedom as Singapore loosens labour curbs

Updated: September 15th, 2021 03:10 PM IST

Migrants get taste of freedom as Singapore loosens labour curbs

Migrants get taste of freedom as Singapore loosens labour curbs

Migrant workers pray at a temple, before enjoying time off at Little India, as part of a pilot programme to allow fully vaccinated migrant workers back to the community after more than a year of movement curbs due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE, Sept 15 (Reuters) - A group of migrant workers visited Singapores Little India area on Wednesday for their a first taste of freedom in more than a year, under a pilot programme to ease movement measures imposed to halt a spike in coronavirus infections in dormitories.

While the rest of Singapore has returned to some semblance of normal life, low-wage foreign workers have mostly been confined to living quarters, other than for work, nearby recreation or essential errands.

Wednesdays trip is part of a programme to allow up to 500 fully vaccinated migrant workers to visit certain public locations for six hours each week. The project will be evaluated after a month.

The Southeast Asian financial hub in April last year imposed controls on tens of thousands of mainly South Asian labourers after their often-cramped dormitories became the epicentre of last years outbreak.

The manpower ministry started the programme after more than 90% of workers in dormitories were vaccinated, above Singapores overall inoculation rate of about 81%, one of the worlds highest.

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