More than 5,400 suspended home renovation projects received approval to resume works on Tuesday, said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) yesterday.
All new applications to resume works will be approved within two days provided the submission is in order, said the authority.
The construction sector has been gradually gearing up since Tuesday, when Singapore moved into phase one of its reopening.
Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said renovation contractors can resume work immediately upon approval, using workers who reside in private residential and HDB flats.
“These workers would have completed the mandatory 28-day stay-home notice during the circuit breaker period, so they don’t need to undergo a Covid-19 test before they start work,” said Mr Lee, who is also Minister for Social and Family Development.
But he noted that there may still be delays in renovation works despite getting approval. For instance, contractors whose workers live in dormitories will have to wait for the dorms to be given a cleared status by the inter-agency task force before workers can resume work.
There are also many contractors who employ Malaysian workers who are unable to travel to Singapore due to Malaysia’s movement control order.
Other contractors face difficulties securing materials due to supply chain disruptions.
All construction workers, regardless of their place of residence, will have to go through periodic Covid-19 tests after they start work.
If positive cases are detected through the tests, the affected worker will have to stop work immediately and all of his close contacts will be quarantined.
In an effort by BCA to “simplify the process”, contractors will no longer need to submit the renovation contract and photos of the suspended renovation works.
BCA also clarified that renovation workers who are work permit and S Pass holders can start work before completing the Covid-Safe Training for Workers online course.
Workers doing renovation works are not required to go through the Safe Management Officers Course for Construction, which is for on-site works.
Local interior design firm Fusion D’Sign is among those that have had their projects approved and resumed works with six local workers today.
Its lifestyle director Sheila Tay, 43, said: “We had already rushed out all the major works like carpentry before the circuit breaker period started, so we’re left with the minor works like installations and painting.”
This article was originally published on The Straits Times.