What is the change? The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is implementing measures for all foreign workers from Hubei Province in China to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

What does the change mean? MOM will reject all new work pass applications for foreign workers from Hubei Province and is instructing existing work pass holders from Hubei Province who are currently away or have traveled to the province during the last 14 days to defer returning to Singapore.

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 28.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work passes.
  • Who is affected: Work pass holders from Hubei Province and their employers.
  • Impact on processing: New work pass applications for foreign workers from Hubei Province will be rejected. At this stage, MOM has not provided any date indicating when this ban will be lifted. Renewal applications for existing work pass holders from Hubei will not be affected, and MOM will continue to assess them on the basis of individual circumstances.
  • Business impact: Companies employing foreign workers from Hubei Province may face reduced staff.
  • Next steps: Employers ought to take the MOM restrictions into account when hiring or assigning workers from Hubei Province.

Background: Since the coronavirus was first detected in December, countries have begun issuing travel bans and warnings to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Analysis & Comments: Employers should note MOM regulations regarding foreign workers from Hubei Province who are not currently in Singapore and reconsider filing immigration applications for workers from this province. Employees with valid work passes will still be allowed to enter Singapore; however, they will be quarantined at home or in other suitable facilities on returning. Deloitte will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as they become available.

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