Singapore to move into Phase 2 of re-opening from June 19

Photo courtesy: Facebook/Lawrence Wong
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Lawrence Wong

The Multi-Ministry Task Force on Monday announced that Phase 2 of re-opening in Singapore will begin from June 19. 

“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,” said the Ministry of Health.

Phase 2 will see the resumption of most activities with the following rules to be followed:

  • 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
  • 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

Phase 2 will allow retail businesses to re-open their physical outlets. Food and beverage dine-in will also be allowed to resume, with liquor sales and consumption ceasing at 22:30 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 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.

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, except singing or voice training classes. 

All 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, including playgrounds, beaches, lawns and fields, stadia, swimming complexes, sports halls, hardcourts, gyms, fitness studios, bowling centres and function rooms. This also applies to these facilities in condominiums and clubs.

There are however certain activities and establishments which will not be allowed to resume just yet. These 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
  • Entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, as well as indoor and outdoor attractions.

Flexibility will be given for weddings whereby solemnisations at home and at ROM or ROMM may take place with up to ten persons (excluding the Solemnizer). At other venues, they can take place with up to twenty persons (excluding the Solemnizer).

For wakes and funerals, up to twenty persons can be present at any one time.

The existing safe management measures for workplaces will continue to apply with employers ensuring that there are no social gatherings between employees, and safe distancing of at least one metre is maintained.

Students from all levels will return to school daily from June 29. Institutes of Higher Learning will gradually increase the number of students back on campus for face-to-face learning with the Ministry of Education providing further details later this week.

Testing of All Incoming Travellers 

Since March 21, all incoming travellers, including Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Pass holders, have been required to serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). The government will now put in place a testing regime for all incoming travellers before the end of their SHN.

This regime will apply to all travellers entering Singapore starting June 18. 

Photo courtesy: Twitter/@ChangiAirport
Photo courtesy: Twitter/@ChangiAirport

“It is an additional precautionary measure to detect the virus, especially given the risks of asymptomatic cases. We will monitor the results of these tests and may make adjustments to the testing requirements over time,” said the MOH. 

The test will be scheduled a few days before the end of the SHN period, at a designated community testing facility with each person receiving information on the scheduled appointment slot and venue via an SMS notification. 

These people 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. 

Additionally, all travellers entering Singapore from June 18, who had remained in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Mainland China, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam in the last consecutive 14 days prior to their entry, will no longer have to serve their SHN at dedicated SHN facilities:

  • Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents can serve their 14-day SHN at their place of residence; 
  • Long Term Pass holders can 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.

All Long Term Pass holders will continue to require prior approval before entering Singapore. 

“As the global and local health situations improve, we have gradually increased the number of entry approvals given to Long Term Pass holders, especially those with deep roots to Singapore or have exigent circumstances. We expect to be able to facilitate the re-entry of more Long Term Pass holders in the coming weeks. We 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,” said the MOH.

Short-term visitors, with the exception of those coming in under the Green / Fast Lane arrangements (starting with China, and eventually covering more countries/regions), will not be allowed for now. 

Going forward, the government will no longer bear the cost of stay at dedicated SHN facilities and 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 or leave Singapore from June 18, will have to pay for their COVID-19 tests as well as incoming travellers, who are not Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, will have to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities.