Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the governmental task force tackling Covid-19, announced yesterday (23 Sep) that the government may be releasing plans to take Singapore through Phase 3 of reopening the economy, in the next few weeks.
Currently, we are in Phase 2 of a gradual reopening and some social and business activities were allowed to resume. The number of community cases has remained low.
The task force had said before that it will take months before Phase 3, the final stage of the economy’s reopening, can happen.
Here’s what to expect when Singapore enters the next phase:
A New Business Travel Pass
The government is piloting a new business travel pass for senior executives in Singapore with regional or international responsibilities who need to travel overseas regularly for official and business purposes.
Travellers on this pass will be required to abide by a strict controlled itinerary when they travel overseas for work.
Upon return, the traveller will be given the option of doing a Covid-19 test in lieu of Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and self-isolate until the test results are out.
The number of passes will be strictly limited in the initial phase, and if the pilot is successful, the government will consider expanding the scheme in a safe and calibrated manner.
More Employees May Return To The Workplace
From 28 Sep, while working from home remains the default mode of working, more employees will be allowed to return to the workplaces.
However, employers must ensure that they continue to work from home for at least half their working time, and no more than half of such employees are at the workplace at any point in time.
Employers should implement flexible workplace hours and further stagger reporting times.
In addition, split team or shift arrangements must continue to be implemented, with each team restricted to one worksite where possible.
Work-Related Events Are Allowed To Resume
Business-oriented events such as conferences, seminars, corporate retreats, annual general meetings and extraordinary general meetings will be allowed to resume, for up to 50 people, depending on venue capacity.
Event organisers must still adhere strictly to safe management measures, such as 1 metre safe distancing between each employee.
The government will consider allowing the resumption of work-related events at external venues at a later date and more details on the updated safe management measures for workplaces will be released.
Increasing Capacity Of Worship Services
The government will be piloting an increase in limit for congregational and other worship services from 50 to 100 people (to be split in two zones of 50 persons for congregational services).
From 3 Oct, all religious organisations will be allowed to conduct congregational and other worship services for up to 100 persons, subject to safe measures in place.
The government is also considering a pilot to increase worship limits up to 250 people.
Increasing Capacity Of Wedding Receptions
From 3 Oct, the government will be increasing the limit of attendees for wedding receptions to up to 100 unique attendees.
This is including the wedding couple, excluding vendors and service providers in total, subject to premise capacity.
Participants in a wedding can be split into multiple zones of up to 50 people each, or split by staggered timings with up to 50 people in each slot.
There should be at least 30 minutes between slots for cleaning and disinfection of the event space.
The limit for marriage solemnisations will also be increased to 100 people, split across multiple zones of up to 50 people each.
From November, they will also be launching a pilot which will allow wedding receptions organised by a registered wedding organiser to take place at HDB common areas, such as void decks and Multi-Purpose Halls managed by Town Councils.
Cinemas To Increase Their Capacity
From 1 Oct, large cinema halls — those with more than 300 seats — will be allowed to have up to three zones of up to 50 patrons each.
Other cinema halls would also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50 per cent of their original operating capacity, or maintain the current limit of up to 50 patrons per hall.
Use Of SafeEntry And Social Distancing Should Still Be Observed
While Phase 3 is set to dawn on us, we still have to observe safe distancing and safe management measures (SMMs) in place.
The use of SafeEntry to check-in to public places and at least 1 metre social distancing are still required.
Non-compliance with SMMs may result in penalties such as suspension of on-site operations, fines, and withholding of payouts for government support schemes and grants.
This month, three F&B outlets have been ordered to close by the government while another 15 were fined for breaching safe management measures.
Featured Image Credit: CIO.com