Singapore Phase 2 And Its Effects On Businesses

It has been a hard time for everyone around the world because of the intensive situation of COVID-19. Singapore is one of the countries has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Asia. It imposed its lockdown measures since start of April and extended the restrictions until early June. People are all wondering when would the nation eases its restrictions and reopens its economy. Yesterday, Singapore government announced that from June 19 onwards, Singapore would step into Phase 2 of its reopening.

So what are the main activities that people can do from June 19 when phase 2 of reopening of the nation begins?

Here is the picture that Straits Times published which gives a general description of the highlights of phase 2 of reopening the nation with safe distancing rules still in place:

Details of the activities that can/not resume

Activities that can completely resume

Once Phase Two begins from 18 June 2020 2359 hours:

  • Retail businesses, who may re-open their physical outlets
  • Dine-in at food and beverage outlets (although live music, television and video screenings not allowed at this stage)
  • Personal health and wellness activities
  • Home-based services
  • Tuition and other private enrichment classes (although singing or voice training classes will not resume)
  • Sports, parks and other public facilities. These include playgrounds, beaches, swimming complexes, sport halls, gyms and fitness studios, function rooms, and similar facilities in private condominiums and clubs
  • Registered clubs and societies, at their registered premises
  • All healthcare services, including face-to-face visits at residential facilities for the elderly, although safe distancing and precautionary measures will be put in place

Activities that can resume with specific rules

  • Weddings: Solemnisations at home, and at ROM or ROMM, may take place with up to ten people, excluding the solemnizer. At other venues, they may take place with up to twenty people, excluding the solemnizer
  • Wakes and funerals: Twenty people may be present at any one time
  • Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs): Students will return to school daily from 29 June 2020. IHLs will gradually increase the number of students back on campus for face-to-face learning

Activities cannot resume in phase 2 (wait for further notice)

  • 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
  • Entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, as well as indoor and outdoor attractions

Ensure telecommuting and safe management for businesses

All employers have to ensure telecommuting by default.

Employers must also ensure safe management measures are put in place. These include no social gatherings between employees and ensuring safe distancing of at least one metre at all times.

The one metre safe distancing requirement may only be waived for groups of not more than five people in permitted businesses, e.g. F&B dine-in settings or classes where individuals come together for activities. Businesses have to ensure safe management measures when in operation.

Businesses who are found to be flouting safe management principles may be required to close.

Safety measures still in place

These safe distancing principles will still apply for all activities that allowed to resume in Phase 2:

  • Ensure safe distancing of at least one metre at all times
  • If safe distancing is not feasible, the one metre requirement can be enforced between groups, if group sizes do not exceed five people. There should be no mixing between groups. This applies to small-group social gatherings and households, who may receive up to five visitors at any one time.
  •  All people have to wear masks when people are outside and at workplaces.  Failure to do so could see you being fined $300. Repeat offenders will face higher fines or prosecution in court.
  • Seniors should still stay at home as much as possible.

Keep safe and wait

More social, cultural, religious and business gatherings or events should be able to resume by Phase 3. Nevertheless, gathering sizes will still be limited in order to prevent a surge in cases.

Although Singapore is reopening its most businesses and small number of people gatherings are allowed in phase 2, Singaporeans should still be vigilant and always keep the safety measures in mind. There are still reports about confirmed cases everyday so we should not let our guard down and continue to play our part to protect ourselves and others.

You can check latest updates on gov.sg. Be strong and keep safe!

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