As Singapore continues with Phase 2 post-Circuit Breaker, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has released an advisory on the safe management measures required for business-to-business (B2B) events, as it prepares for the safe resumption of such events in the coming months.

The advisory is detailed as follows:

The STB is piloting a Safe Business Event Risk Management Framework for business events of up to 50 attendees, which takes into consideration the event risk profile and the readiness of event organisers and the event venue (collectively 'EOs') in mitigating the risks associated with the events.

Under this framework, the EOs must demonstrate readiness and capabilities to implement a set of safe management measures which will meet the five outcomes required for the resumption of B2B events in a safe and controlled manner, namely (examples of measures under each category provided in bullet points):

  • Implement infection control measures for pre and post-event 
    • Submit the official programme as well as the event itinerary of all foreign attendees for STB’s review before event commencement. 
    • Organise a pre-departure briefing for all foreign attendees approved under the fast lane arrangements on the event itinerary and all SafeTravel Pass fast lane requirements.
    • Ensure that all foreign attendees adhere to the requirements of the SafeTravel Pass.
    • Remind all attendees to download, use and enable the TraceTogether app or to use the TraceTogether wearable device.
  • Limit overall density of attendees, especially in enclosed places including:
    • Ensuring at least one metre spacing between individuals at all times. 
    • The number of attendees within the event venue must comply with an operating capacity limit of one attendee per 10sqm for event spaces >930sqm.
    • Implement a one-way traffic flow at the event space as well as exclusive entry and exit points for each cohort, where practicable.
  • Limit opportunities for and the number of close contacts between individuals (including attendees and staff)
    • Limit the number of persons in each cohort to less than or equal to 50pax at any one time, with less than or equal to 20 pax allowed in any one sub-group.
    • Ensure no intermingling between different sub-groups at all times (including during social functions, sightseeing tours, meals and transport between destinations).
    • During social interactions and networking sessions, refrain from serving food and drinks to attendees or allowing attendees to consume food and drinks.
    • Ensure that any smaller group that is formed within a sub-group for purposes beyond the meeting setting (e.g. sightseeing tours, meals and transport between destinations) does not exceed 5 pax.
  • Ensure a safe and clean environment for both attendees and staff
    • Ensure the event complies with safe management requirements of Singapore government agencies and SG Clean sanitation and hygiene measures.
    • Implement a detailed monitoring plan and appointing a Safe Management Officer to assist with implementation of and compliance with all safe management measures at the relevant premises..
    • Provide at all times easily accessible disinfecting agents like hand sanitisers, disinfectant sprays, paper towels and wipes for the free use of attendees and staff at event spaces.
    • Where meals or where F&B services are provided, ensure that this is not provided via self-service buffet (whether at a meal time or a tea break), where queues or clustering could be formed. Sale or provision of pre-packed food and drink is permissible.
  • Prepare for any emergencies relating to COVID-19
    • Appoint a clear decision-making authority within the EO and an agreed procedure to modify, restrict, postpone or cancel the event if the prevailing COVID-19 situation worsens.
    • Develop and implement responses to situations such as handling attendees or staff who are found to display COVID-19 symptoms, seeking medical treatment for any such attendees.
    • Ensure detailed procedures are developed and implemented in the event any attendee or EO staff is found to display COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. isolating the individual in a safe area, closing off affected sections/areas, etc.).
    • Inform STB immediately of any attendee (whether local or foreign) or EO staff confirmed to have COVID-19 (up to 14 days after attending the event).

Refer here for the checklist on safe management measures to note. 

The STB has said EOs must work together to implement these measures, as well as other additional event-specific safe management measures to ad

dress any potential risk factors relating to the event and outline how these risks could be mitigated. All these measures should be mapped across the pre-event, during and post-event phases.

Starting August 2020, STB will be working with the industry to trial B2B events to test the framework and the set of safe management measures, which will allow STB to further refine the framework with industry feedback and learnings, before the general resumption of B2B events is allowed. 

Additionally, this pilot phase will allow the agency to assess the viability of these measures, tap on the ingenuity of the industry for new and creative ideas and at the same time, ensure that events can be conducted in a safe, trusted and reliable manner for all attendees, covering the entire attendee journey from pre, during and post-event planning.

Enforcement of measures: Offenders could face a fine, imprisonment, or both

As stated in the advisory, the resumption of B2B events during Phase 2 would require the prior approval of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In the event of non-compliance, first-time offenders could face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both, under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act; while repeat offenders could face a fine of up to S$20,000, imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both. 

At the same time,  other levers under the Act, such as ordering the closure of the business premises and/or cessation of business activities, may be used against EOs that are found to be non-compliant.

Lastly, businesses that do not comply may also lose eligibility for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance.

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