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15 Jun 2020

15th Jun 2020

            The Multi-Ministry Taskforce has assessed the situation and decided to start Phase Two after 18 June 2020, 2359 hours. Community infection rates have remained generally stable despite the increase in workplace activity in Phase One of re-opening. The incidence of cases in migrant worker dormitories has also declined, and there are no new large clusters emerging.

2.         In this next phase, our goal is to ensure that efforts taken during the circuit breaker period and Phase One of reopening are sustained. By limiting close contact among individuals, while maintaining hygiene and safe management principles, we will be able to resume more activities without substantially raising the risk of new clusters of infections.

Approach for Phase Two

3.         Apart from a small list of exceptions, Phase Two will see the resumption of most activities, subject to the following safe distancing principles:

  a.  As a default, measures should be put in place to ensure that individuals maintain safe distancing of at least one metre at all times.

  b.  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.

4.         Similarly, 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.

Activities to be Resumed

5.         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.

6.         Personal health and wellness, and home-based services will also be allowed to resume. 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.

7.         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.

8.         The complete list of businesses that are allowed to operate can be found on MTI’s website (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/permittedlist/). Businesses in this list do not need to apply for an exemption before resuming operations.

9.         However, they are required to submit the number of workers who are working on-site via the GoBusiness portal (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg) 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.

10.       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 as indicated earlier.

11.       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.

Exceptions

12.       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. Overseas and local experience has shown that these settings can spawn large clusters of infections, given the number of close contacts between individuals in the course of such activities.

13.       Such activities and settings include: 

  a.  Religious services and congregations;
  b.  Large cultural venues such as libraries and museums;
  c.  Large-scale events and venues, such as conferences, exhibitions, concerts and trade fairs; and
  d.  Entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, as well as indoor and outdoor attractions.

14.      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 of Specific Activities and Settings

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

  a.  Weddings. Added flexibility will be given for weddings. Wedding solemnizations 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.

  b.  Wakes and Funerals. For wakes and funerals, up to twenty persons may be present at any one time.

  c.  Workplaces. 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.

  d.  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.

Role of the Public

16.       With the range of activities resuming in Phase Two, the number of close contacts between individuals will increase. More new community cases should be expected. To keep the number of new cases under control, it is critical that we continue to exercise caution. All of us must adhere to safe management principles, and we should avoid businesses or activities that fail to comply.

17.       At the same time, we must practise social responsibility in upholding good personal hygiene and safe distancing measures - wash our hands regularly, wear a mask wherever we go, and see a doctor immediately when we are sick. We should also check-in and check-out on SafeEntry when required, and download and install the TraceTogether app on our phones.

18.       While the scope for meeting friends and family members has been increased, we urge everyone to continue exercising personal responsibility. They should protect themselves and their families by keeping their daily number of contacts small and preferably limited to a regular circle of close contacts.  As seniors are especially vulnerable, they should continue to exercise extra caution and stay at home as much as possible.

19.       Individually, these are steps that everyone can take to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Collectively, these actions will make all the difference in keeping COVID-19 at bay.

Toward a Safe and Sustainable Re-opening – Everyone Plays a Part

20.       Phase Two is a significant step in moving towards a new COVID-safe normal. The Multi-Ministry Taskforce will continue to monitor the situation closely, with the aim of continuing to ease measures, until we reach a new normal in Phase Three. Our goal is to re-open our economy and society progressively, while controlling the infection and providing maximum protection for vulnerable groups, such as our seniors and those with medical conditions.   

21.       Meanwhile, we must all adjust our expectations, lifestyles and norms, as we are not going back to the way things were before COVID-19. Let us continue to stay disciplined and vigilant, and not let all our previous efforts go to waste. Together, let us find the resilience within ourselves, the solidarity with each other, and the fortitude as a society to embark on this collective journey to achieve a COVID-safe Singapore.

MINISTRY OF HEALTH
15 JUNE 2020