The Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced yesterday that Singapore will move into Phase Two of reopening after 18 June 2359 hours.

Here’s what this entails for the general public, businesses, and travellers.

Jump straight to each update:

Phase Two to see the resumption of most activities, subject to safe distancing

According to a media release by the Ministry of Health (MOH), the goal of Phase Two is to ensure efforts taken during the Circuit Breaker period and Phase One are sustained.

As such, Phase Two will see the resumption of most activities subject to the following safe-distancing principles:

  • As a default, measures should be put in place to ensure that individuals maintain safe distancing of at least one metre at all times.
  • Where not feasible or practical to apply one-metre safe distancing between individuals, this one-metre requirement can instead be enforced between groups, with each group made up of not more than five persons, and with no mixing between groups. Other safe management measures should also be in place.

In that line, small-group social gatherings of up to any five persons can also resume. Within the home, households may receive up to five visitors at any one time.

Vast majority of activities will be allowed to resume

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.

Services that are allowed to resume include: 

  • Personal health and wellness
  • Home-based services
  • 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. These include:

  • Playgrounds
  • Beaches
  • Lawns and fields
  • Stadia
  • Swimming complexes
  • Sports halls
  • Hardcourts
  • Gyms
  • Fitness studios
  • Bowling centres 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.

Government agencies have begun to engage relevant businesses and organisations on possible safe management measures to be taken for these activities or settings. Agencies will advise these organisations on the approval processes and timelines for their resumption at a later date, depending on the ability and readiness of the organisation to implement these measures.

Guidelines for weddings, funerals, as well as schools and institutes of higher learning (IHLs)

Apart from the safe management principles, specific rules will apply to the following events and settings:

  • Weddings
    Added flexibility will be given for weddings. Wedding solemnisations at home and at ROM or ROMM may take place with up to ten persons (excluding the Solemnizer). At other venues, they may take place with up to twenty persons (excluding the Solemnizer), subject to the venue’s capacity limit based on safe management principles.
  • Wakes and Funerals
    For wakes and funerals, up to twenty persons may be present at any one time.
  • Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs)
    Students from all levels will return to school daily from 29 June 2020. IHLs have been conducting most lessons online, except for practical and laboratory-based lessons, and will gradually increase the number of students back on campus for face-to-face learning. The Ministry of Education will share more details later this week.

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Businesses: Safe Management Measures continue to apply, telecommuting must remain the default where feasible

The current safe management measures for workplaces will continue to apply. Employers must continue to ensure that there are no social gatherings between employees, and safe distancing of at least one metre is maintained at all times.

Businesses that were allowed to operate since 2 June can continue to operate. This includes businesses in: 

  • Administrative and support service activities
  • Food services
  • Health and social services
  • Information and communications
  • Professional and technical activities
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Businesses that will be allowed to operate come 19 June include: 

  • Cleaning and Landscape Maintenance Activities
  • Education (excluding centres providing singing and voice training lessons)
  • Arts Galleries
  • Fitness Centres and Gymnasiums, Sports Facilities (excluding paintball game centres and billiard halls), Activities of Sports Clubs/Associations
  • Country Clubs, Activities of Membership Organisations
  • Repair Services

Businesses in this list do not need to apply for an exemption before resuming operations. The complete list of businesses that are allowed to operate can be found on the Ministry of Trade & Industry’s website.

However, they are required to submit the number of workers who are working on-site via the GoBusiness portal within two weeks of the date of resumption of on-site operations.

In the interest of reducing physical contact between individuals, telecommuting must remain the default for all businesses where feasible.

In settings run by permitted businesses, such as for F&B dining-in or classes where individuals come together for activities, the one-metre safe distancing requirement may be waived only if each group is made up of not more than five persons, and subject to overall safe management measures.

Further guidance for various sectors will be provided by the relevant agencies in the coming days, leading up to the start of Phase Two.

Businesses and organisations are reminded to play their part to keep Singapore safe. Should they be unable to meet safe management principles, businesses and organisations can engage relevant agencies to seek approval for alternative safe distancing measures. Such businesses and activities should only open when they are ready.

Businesses and organisations found to be flouting safe management principles may be required to close.

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Travel update: Compulsory COVID-19 tests, SHN requirements updated, travellers to bear all costs of testing and stay at dedicated SHN facilities

In line with plans for a progressive re-opening, the Taskforce has been having ongoing discussions with various countries/regions on developing bilateral arrangements for safe travel, and allowing more Long Term Pass (LTP) holders still outside Singapore to return.

The Taskforce has also been monitoring the global situation closely and has updated Singapore’s border measures taking into account its understanding of the virus and the developments in various countries/regions.

All incoming travellers to undergo compulsory COVID-19 test from 17 June 2359 hours

All travellers entering Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours are required to serve a 14-day SHN.

Additionally, a few days before the end of their SHN, these travellers must undergo a COVID-19 test.

They will be scheduled for a COVID-19 test at a designated community testing facility. Each person under SHN will receive information about the scheduled appointment via SMS. On the day of the appointment, they will have to travel from their place of residence to the designated testing facility, and return immediately after the test, using their own private vehicle or designated transport. Public transport should be avoided.

Incoming travellers from 10 countries/regions allowed to serve SHN at suitable place of residence

All travellers entering Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, and who had remained in these 10 countries in the last consecutive 14 days prior to their entry, will no longer have to serve their SHN at dedicated SHN facilities:

  • Australia
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Mainland China
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents may serve their 14-day SHN at their place of residence. While LTP holders may serve their 14-day SHN at a place of residence that they or their family members own or are sole tenants of; or in suitable accommodation such as a hotel, at their own cost.

All other travellers entering Singapore will continue to serve their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities, for now.

As with before, all individuals under SHN must remain in their place of residence at all times. They will be subject to close monitoring of their whereabouts, through electronic monitoring as well as physical spot-checks. Strict enforcement action will be taken against those who breach the requirements of the SHN.

Prior approval still required for LTP holders to enter Singapore, the majority of short-term visitors not able to enter

All Long Term Pass holders will continue to require prior approval before entering Singapore (except for those returning under the Singapore-China Fast Lane arrangements).

However, the number of entry approvals given to Long Term Pass holders has gradually increased, especially for those with roots to Singapore or have exigent circumstances.

The Singapore Government expects to be able to facilitate the re-entry of more Long Term Pass holders in the coming weeks.

Currently, short-term visitors are not able to enter Singapore, with the exception of those coming in under the Green / Fast Lane arrangements (starting with China, and eventually covering more countries/regions), or with special prior approval.

The Government will also study how to facilitate business travels, in particular for professionals based in Singapore who need to travel frequently as part of their work, with the necessary safeguards.

Travellers to bear all costs of testing and stay at dedicated SHN facilities from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours

Thus far, the Singapore Government has borne a majority of the costs related to COVID-19 testing and SHN stays.

Going forward, as borders re-open to more international travel, those who enter Singapore would have to bear the costs of fulfilling these requirements, as part of the cost of travel in a COVID-19 world.

All inbound and outbound travellers who enter Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, and leave Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, respectively, will be required to pay for their COVID-19 tests, where applicable.

In addition, incoming travellers who are not Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, who enter Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, will be required to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities, where applicable.

The prevailing charges for the COVID-19 test and stay at the dedicated SHN facilities are:

  • COVID-19 test: Up to S$200 (inclusive of GST)
  • 14-day stay at dedicated SHN facility: S$2,000 (inclusive of GST) 

annex a measures for inbound travellers 15 june 2020

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Infographic / MOH
Lead image / iStock