Singapore has so far been successful in managing the Coronavirus pandemic. After reopening its economy on June 2, the country has managed to restrict the number of COVID-19 positive cases. The daily number of positive cases and clusters have also seen a sharp decline. Keeping that in mind, the government announced that the second phase of reopening will begin on June 19.
Apart from a few places where large gatherings are possible, most of Singapore will be open for business, albeit with strict guidelines and safety measures in place.
"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," the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
What Can Open
Phase 2 will see most of the business activities opening up for customers. Schools and educational institutes will open its doors from June 29.
Social Gatherings: Up to five people are now permitted to gather at a place but with social distancing in place. They have to maintain at least a one-meter distance. Similarly, households are also now permitted to receive guests up to five persons at any one time. For weddings, up to 20 guests are allowed at the venue while similar guidelines will be in place for funerals.
Retail Outlets: Retail business outlets which were not permitted to open in Phase 1 now can receive customers at their physical stores. However, the stores will need to adhere to strict safety measures including frequent cleaning, occupancy limits and disinfecting the commonly used areas besides implanting the government's SafeEntry visitor check-in system. However, there will be no testing of samples. Stores such as Ikea or Decathlon will also come under this category. For malls and supermarkets, queue lines will have to be marked. Malls, however, are not allowed to open events and activity areas.
Restaurants: Dining in will also be allowed including the hawker centers but they cannot have maximum occupancy at a time. Seats will be marked out for one-meter distance. Chairs and tables have to be sanitized regularly while there will be no buffet. If buffet is a must then only staff will dish out the food. Similarly, serving spoons need to be sanitized properly after each serve.
Gyms: Gyms and fitness studios can also reopen. They will have to sanitize all the equipment frequently and have limited occupancy at one time. Establishments will also need to rearrange classes to comply with social distancing.
Sports Facilities: While sports facilities including stadiums and training centers got the green light, crowding is still not permitted. Thus, stadiums will not have spectators. They will also have to sanitize guard rails and other commonly touched surfaces.
For a team sport, the one-meter distance must be maintained between the members during training. Training for individual sports was already allowed to resume on June 2 including swimming.
Beauty Service: Spas and other beauty retail are allowed to open with conditions. There will be no sampling while products which have been used cannot be reapplied again. Besides that, customer appointments must be managed properly to avoid crowding while contact tracing details must be provided when asked. They are also not allowed to provide food and beverages during those appointments. They will also need to sanitize all the tools before reusing them.
Educational Institutes: While colleges were allowed to reopen on June 2, primary, secondary and junior colleges will now resume physical classes on June 29. However, physical activities and co-curricular activities will resume gradually. Besides that, regular temperature checks will be mandatory. However, polytechnics, universities and institutes for higher learning will resume gradually.
Tuition centers are also allowed to resume offline classes but they will need to rearrange the schedule to avoid crowding. Where possible, online classes must be encouraged.
Book Stores: Books stores are allowed to open but with a caveat. Customers are discouraged to surf through books and instead encouraged to read the summary online before heading to purchase. However, meet the author sessions are not permitted for now.
What Cannot Open
In Phase 2, places of large gatherings will not be allowed to open. It includes religious congregations, theatres, cinema halls, museums, exhibitions, concerts, libraries, conferences and bars.
Those who fail to abide by the guidelines will face a fine up to $10,000 and jail for up to six months under COVID-19 Temporary Measures Act. Repeated offenders will have to pay double the fine and will face double the jail time.