Up to 50 per cent of workers can return to workplaces from Jan 1

VDS measures will also be expanded to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.

Amanda Tan

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Published: 14 December 2021, 6:12 PM

Starting from Jan 1, more people will be allowed to return to their workplaces.

Up to 50 per cent of those able to work from home will be allowed back in the office, now that 97 per cent of Singapore’s workforce is fully vaccinated.

The Government is also considering removing the concession that allows unvaccinated people to return to the workplace if they test negative for COVID-19, said co-chair of the Multi Ministry Task Force for COVID-19 Lawrence Wong, at a press conference on Tuesday (Dec 14).

As Singapore prepares for the Omicron wave, Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS) will be expanded to more places starting from Feb 1, to prevent the highly infectious variant from causing a bigger wave of COVID-19 cases. This means that people will have to be vaccinated to enter a wide variety of settings.

Such settings include all indoor sport facilities – even those that are privately owned – institutes of higher learning and leisure guests in hotels, hostels and service apartments.

All events – even those with fewer than 50 attendees – will also be subject to these requirements. These include funeral memorial services and work-related events.

Students who are currently completing full-time Nitec, Higher Nitec, diploma or degree programmes will be exempted from vaccination-differentiated measures when entering their respective educational institutions.

While Singapore has yet to detect any community transmission of the Omicron variant, it is only a matter of time till it happens, said Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong.

Currently, there have been 16 Omicron cases detected in Singapore to date, comprising 14 imported cases and two local cases who are airport passenger service staff.

The variant has been found in more than 60 countries worldwide.

In preparation for the surge, Singapore is making plans to increase its intensive care unit (ICU) capacity to 500 beds, said director of medical services Kenneth Mak.

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