The Government will also be providing a 0.5-month rental waiver for qualifying tenants on Government-owned commercial properties. Meanwhile, all current restrictions and measures (e.g. default WFH, two-pax dine-in limits) will continue to be maintained in this period.
Singapore will be extending its Stabilisation Phase till 21 November 2021, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced on Wednesday (20 October 2021).
This extension, the MTF shared, comes "given the continuing pressures" on the country's healthcare system, with more time needed for the situation to stabilise. "We will review the measures at the two-week mark and adjust these based on the community situation then."
The current measures in place will continue to be maintained in this extended phase, which begins on 25 October (Monday), but the MTF will review them at the two-week mark and make any adjustments based on the community situation then.
Minister Lawrence Wong, Co-Chair of the MTF, explained: "It does not mean that all the measures will have to remain frozen or static throughout this entire month, because we will continually review the situation in the coming weeks to see if there is any scope for calibrated easing and, in instances where the risks are acceptable in some of these settings, we will consider moving first on these measures."
In light of the extension, the Government will be extending the ongoing Jobs Support Scheme payouts at 25% for all sectors significantly affected by the continuing tightened measures. These sectors are namely: F&B, retail, cinemas, museums, art galleries, historical sites, family entertainment, tourism, gyms and fitness studios, and performing arts and arts education. More details here.
Further support measures include:
A 0.5-month rental waiver for qualifying tenants on Government-owned commercial properties. Qualifying tenant-occupiers and owner-occupiers of privately-owned commercial properties will also be given a 0.5-month rental relief cash payout under the Rental Support Scheme (RSS). More details on the RSS will be made available on the Inland Revenue Authority Singapore (IRAS)'s website.
Cooked food and market stallholders in centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators will receive a 0.5-month rental waiver.
To support taxi and private hire car drivers, the Government will extend the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund payout at S$10 and S$5 per vehicle per day, in November and December 2021 respectively.
The total sum of the support measures will be valued at S$640mn, funded by the "higher-than-expected revenues collected to-date." There will be no further draw on Past Reserves, the MT highlighted.
Recap: All measures/restrictions that will continue to apply from 25 October - 21 November 2021
Unless the Government provides further updates following the mid-way review.
Work-from-home will be the default for employees who are able to work from home
- The 10-day snap work-from-home regime will continue be suspended.
- There should continue to be no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites for those who need to go into worksites to work.
- Social gatherings at the workplace will continue to be disallowed.
- Employers should continue to implement flexible working hours and stagger the start times of employees who need to return to the workplace.
- Employees, contractors, and vendors who are unable to work from home are strongly encouraged to self-test weekly via an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) to keep infected employees from coming to work and keep their workplace safe.
- Those who are able to work from home but need to return to the workplace for ad-hoc reasons may do so after testing negative via ART before returning onsite.
Two-person limit imposed for dine-in
- Groups of up to two persons will be allowed to dine-in at regular F&B establishments if all the diners are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals with a valid negative pre-event test (PET) result, recovered individuals, and children aged 12 years and below may also be included in such groups of two.
- On why members of the same household can't currently dine in at a table of five, Minister Wong pointed out that "it is still too risky to make such a move because of the pressure on the healthcare system, but it is indeed something we are looking into."
- The concession to dine-in at hawker centres and coffee shops will remain at up to two persons, regardless of vaccination status.
- Overall, the permissible group sizes for social gatherings remains at a maximum of two persons. Correspondingly, the maximum number of unique visitors per household will be at two per day.
Event sizes and capacity to remain at up to 1,000 attendees, conditionally
- Event sizes and capacity limits for congregational and other worship services, cinemas, MICE, live performances, spectator sport events will remain at up to 1,000 attendees if all are fully vaccinated. Otherwise, only up to 50 attendees will be allowed without PET. The concession for children aged 12 years and below, who cannot yet be vaccinated, will also apply for these events. Such unvaccinated children may be included in a group of up to two persons if the child is from the same household.
- Meanwhile, marriage solemnisations may continue, seated in groups of up to two persons, if all are fully vaccinated. Home solemnisations will continue to be allowed with up to 10 attendees. Otherwise, only up to 50 attendees will be allowed without PET.
Lead photo / MOF