MOH highlighted that if the active community cases remain under control, activities, like dining in, may resume from 21 June 2021.
On 10 June 2021, Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) has announced that the country will be heading to Phase Three (Heightened Alert, or P3HA), starting 14 June, as part of a calibrated reopening.
This will be done in two steps:
- Re-opening from Monday 14 June 2021 – Includes increase in social gathering group size and event size & capacity limits; as well as the resumption of personal services without masks.
- Further re-opening from 21 June 2021 – Subject to the situation remaining under control, this includes resumption of dining in, wedding receptions, live performances, sports activities, and more.
Details of all plans are shared below.
This move represents an ease in the current state of Phase Two (Heightened Alert, or P2HA) restrictions, after the nation has witnessed a fall in the number of COVID-19 community cases.
For employers, however, there is no change in MOH’s guidelines for the moment.
Essentially, effective 14 June 2021, employers need to continue to take note of the following regulations:
- Work-from-home (WFH) remains the default at workplaces. Employers must ensure that employees who are able to work from home do so;
- There should continue to be no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites;
- Employers should continue to stagger start times of employees who need to return to the workplace and implement flexible working hours;
- All employees must wear a mask at the workplace;
- Social gatherings at the workplace are disallowed; and
- All work-related events:
- The number of persons per event must be capped at 50 persons; and
- Food and drinks are not allowed at work-related events.
Work-related events, in this case, refers to those events not organised primarily for social interaction. Such events that are allowed to proceed are those which primarily involve employees or stakeholders, such as conferences, seminars, corporate retreats, staff training sessions, Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings.
Further, while work-related events are allowed to resume at third-party venues, they will continue to be subject to any existing & additional premise owners’ safe management policies.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) explained: “As we transition out of Phase Two (Heightened Alert) in the coming weeks, it remains essential that we continue to keep transmission risks in check by reducing overall footfall and interactions at common spaces at or near the workplace, and in public places, including public transport.”
Regular Fast and Easy Testing (FET) Regime
Phase Three also requires all staff who work at settings with unmasked clients and patrons to be placed on a FET regime. These include staff of:
- Dine-in F&B establishments;
- Personal care and appearance services that require removal of masks (i.e. facial services, saunas, make-up services); and
- Gyms and fitness studios where clients are unmasked.
Tests, such as antigen rapid test (ART), will be administered on them—regardless of their vaccination status.
“We will be,” MOH said, “aggressively ramping up FET capacity in the coming months. Mandatory FET testing will be progressively rolled out to larger establishments first and extended to smaller businesses thereafter.”
“For dine-in F&B establishments, we will roll out mandatory FET testing progressively, starting from next month. Details of the roll-out will be announced when ready.”
For the general public, here are details to take note of for the re-opening effective Monday, 14 June 2021:
- Increase in social gathering group size: The current permissible group size is increased from two persons to five persons. Each household has a cap of five distinct visitors per day.
- Resumption of personal services without masks: Personal care and appearance services which require masks to be removed (e.g. facials, saunas) will be allowed to resume.
- Increase in event size and capacity limits: Attractions, including museums and public libraries, will be allowed to operate at an increased operating capacity from 25% to 50%.
- Under specific conditions, the following events/activities will be allowed to resume:
- Live performances;
- Spectator sport events;
- Congregational and other worship activities
- Marriage solemnisations at external venues (i.e. not in a place of residence or in the Registry of Marriages/Registry of Muslim Marriages building)
The conditions to follow for these events are: audience sizes with 250 attendees will be required to go through pre-event testing (PET). Those with 50 or fewer attendees, PET will not be required.
- Marriage solemnisations: Those held at home, the hosting household will be able to invite up to five visitors (excluding members of the hosting household, the solemniser and vendors), or have up to 10 attendees in total (including all attendees but excluding the solemniser and vendors).
For the key differences between P2HA and P3HA in a tabular format, click here.
As for the further re-opening from 21 June 2021, here’s what the general public can look forward to:
MOH highlighted that if the active community cases remain under control, the following activities may resume from 21 June 2021:
- Dining in at food establishments: While strictly observing at least 1 metre safe distancing between groups of diners (of no more than five persons)
- Wedding receptions: For up to 100 attendees (including the wedding couple but excluding vendors), with PET required for all attendees. For wedding receptions up to 50 attendees, PET is required only for all members of the wedding party (of up to 20 attendees including the wedding couple).
- Live performances: This includes unmasking and singing/playing of wind instruments for live performances; as well as at congregational and worship services.
- Gyms, fitness studios, and mask-off sports activities:
- Indoor mask-off sports activities may resume, with safe distancing of at least 2m between persons and at least 3m between groups of up to five persons.
- Sports classes (both indoors and outdoors) will be capped at 30 persons (including the instructor) comprised of groups of no more than five persons.
- Class participants may unmask if they are engaging in strenuous activities, although they are strongly encouraged to remain masked.
- In-person tuition and enrichment classes:
- In-person tuition and enrichment classes for those aged 18 and below will be allowed to resume with enhanced safe management measures, which will be announced by MOE subsequently.
- Higher-risk arts and culture classes such as singing, and wind instruments will also be allowed to resume.
- Further details on these classes will be released by NAC.