Foreign workers who returned in droves to popular locations on Sunday (June 26), as restrictions limiting their movement were mostly lifted, said the day out with friends has helped with their mental health.
While they could freely visit community areas since last Friday, many still chose to apply for a Popular Places Pass in order to visit some of their favourite haunts.
The pass is for those residing in dormitories. It is meant to limit footfall in Little India, Jurong East, Chinatown and Geylang Serai on Sundays and public holidays.
The Straits Times visited these four locations on Sunday.
Mr Min Manak, 46, who is from Bangladesh, was at a bus stop in Haig Road in Geylang waiting for his friends from other dormitories to arrive.
He was the earliest to get there, having taken a train on the East-West Line from his dormitory in South Tuas.
“My friends and I are going to walk around Geylang Serai. I haven’t come here in three years,” he said.
“After that, we’ll go and eat fast food, maybe KFC or McDonald’s. We want something different, because we eat rice every day. I’ll return to my dorm after that.
“Last time, we could only go to work or stay in the dorm. Now we can walk anywhere and relax. It’s good for our bodies and minds,” he added.
He plans to visit Little India to worship at Angullia Mosque on Sunday.
It was something he used to do often in his 15 years working here, but could not because of Covid-19 restrictions that migrant workers and the general population were placed under.
Mr Shyam Chandran, 29, was busy snapping pictures with his camera in Jurong East.
Armed with a zoom lens, Mr Shyam, who is from Bangladesh, took portraits of his friend, who was seated outside Westgate mall.
“Last time… my life was just the dorm, construction, dorm, construction and dorm again. I was very depressed. I couldn’t go outside, I couldn’t see my friends.
“I’m very happy that I can practise my photography again. This is the first time in two years that I’ve been able to use my camera,” he said, smiling.