(Singapore, June 16, 2020) Beginning from Friday, Singapore will reopen parks, sports facilities, and most retail businesses among others while continuing to uphold telecommuting and other social distancing measures, Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced yesterday.
It also announced to launch a testing regime for all incoming travelers from tomorrow on before the end of their Stay-Home Notice (SHN).
“We would still ask all employers to make work from home or telecommuting a default setting,” said Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s National Development Minister, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling the respiratory disease.
“So even if more businesses are allowed to reopen, employers should continue to ensure that employees who can work from home continue to work from home,” he added.
The Multi-Ministry Taskforce, which comprises ten major government departments of the Republic, directs the national whole-of-government response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The taskforce said in a statement that the community infection rates have remained generally stable despite the increase in workplace activity in Phase One of re-opening. The incidence of cases in migrant worker dormitories has also declined, and there are no new large clusters emerging.
Thus, in this next phase, its goal is to ensure that efforts taken during the circuit breaker period and Phase One of reopening are sustained. By limiting close contact among individuals, while maintaining hygiene and safe management principles, the city-state will be able to resume more activities without substantially raising the risk of new clusters of infections.
Apart from a small list of exceptions, Phase Two will see the resumption of most activities, subject to the safe distancing principles, including safe distancing of at least one meter at all times.
After 18 June, 2359 hours, retail businesses may re-open their physical outlets. Food and beverage dine-in will also be allowed to resume, subject to liquor sales and consumption ceasing at 2230 hours. However, live music and television and video screenings will not be allowed in all F&B outlets at this stage.
Larger public venues with high human traffic such as malls and large standalone retail outlets will be subject to capacity limits, and operators will be required to prevent crowds or long queues from building up within and in the immediate vicinity of their premises.
Personal health and wellness, and home-based services will also be allowed to resume. Registered clubs and societies will be allowed to operate at their registered premises.
Tuition and other private enrichment classes can resume, with the exception of singing or voice training classes. All other healthcare services, including eldercare services in the community, individual health screening and aesthetic services, will resume with safe distancing measures in place.
Face-to-face visitations at residential facilities for the elderly (including nursing homes, welfare homes, sheltered homes, and adult disability homes) will also resume with precautionary measures in place.
Sports, parks and other public facilities will also open. Among them: playgrounds, beaches, lawns and fields, stadia, swimming complexes, sports halls, hardcourts, gyms, fitness studios, bowling centers and function rooms. This applies also to similar facilities in private settings such as condominiums and clubs.
While the vast majority of activities will be allowed to resume at the start of Phase Two, the resumption of a small number of activities will take more time. These are activities or settings where large numbers of people are likely to come into close contact, often in enclosed spaces, and for prolonged periods of time.
Such activities and settings include religious services and congregations, large cultural venues such as libraries and museums, large-scale events and venues, such as conferences, exhibitions, concerts and trade fairs; and entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, as well as indoor and outdoor attractions.
“Overseas and local experience has shown that these settings can spawn large clusters of infections, given the number of close contacts between individuals in the course of such activities,” the statement says.
Since 21 March 2020, all incoming travelers, including Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Long Term Pass holders, have been required to serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN).
Besides the SHN, Singapore will now put in place a testing regime for all incoming travelers before the end of their SHN.
As an additional precautionary measure to detect the virus, especially given the risks of asymptomatic cases, the regime will apply to all travelers entering Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours.
For a start, all travelers entering Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, and who had remained in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Mainland China, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam in the last consecutive 14 days prior to their entry, will no longer have to serve their SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.