Firms applaud relaxed border measures for India and Bangladesh, but call for more clarity

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SINGAPORE: While companies applauded Singapore’s move to reopen borders to India, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries from Wednesday (Oct 27), some are seeking clarity on the measures.

Several firms that spoke to CNA expressed uncertainty about the rate of workers allowed to enter Singapore.

Straits Construction, which is building two executive condominiums and a Tengah Housing Board development among other projects, welcomed the relaxed measures. Most of its workers are from South Asia.

“As you know, the industry is actually very short of workers currently. The numbers that are coming in are hardly enough to replace those going back,” executive director and chief operating officer Kenneth Loo said.

“The issue going forward is what is the rate of workers coming in, and whether the gates will be open though still in a controlled manner, which I presume it probably will be. How is that going to be regulated and what’s the pace?”

Singapore started allowing travellers from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to enter or transit through the country from 11.59pm on Tuesday. Short-term visitors are not included.

Travellers from these countries are subject to Category IV border restrictions, which include a 10-day stay-home notice at dedicated facilities.