PSA: Singapore to Exit Circuit Breaker Progressively in Phases (October 2020 Update)
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PSA: Singapore to Exit Circuit Breaker Progressively in Phases (October 2020 Update)

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[October 2020 Update] Travel Agencies & Tour Operators To Resume Operations, Compulsory for Moviegoers To Use TraceTogether, Wedding Receptions at Void Decks Can Be Held for up To 100 Attendees

Travel Agencies and Tour Operators Resume on-Site Operations

From 19 October 2020, travel agencies and tour operators will be allowed to resume on-site operations.

Subjected to them meeting MOM’s prevailing guidelines on Safe Management Measures at the workplace.

Side note: with arrangements like reciprocal green lanes, unilateral opening of borders, and air travel bubbles, it seems like this is another promising step towards the resumption of leisure travel!

In-Person Work-Related Events Will Be Allowed To Take Place at Third-Party Venues

From 22 October 2020, in-person work-related events such as conferences and annual general meetings will be allowed to take place at third-party venues.

FYI: these events were previously only allowed be held in the business and workplaces’ own premises since 28 September 2020

Up to 50 persons per event will be allowed.

Compulsory for Moviegoers To Use TraceTogether at Cinemas

From 26 October 2020, moviegoers will not be allowed to enter the cinemas if they do not have the TraceTogether token or app.

For those thinking, “Aiya, still got Safe Entry QR codes what…”

Cinema SafeEntry QR codes will NOT be compatible with your phone cameras, the SingPass app, or your NRIC.

There will be a grace period from 26 October and 16 November for cinema operators to implement this.

In fact, by the end of December 2020, checking in with the TraceTogether app or token will be mandatory at all popular venues such as:

  • restaurants
  • workplaces
  • schools
  • shopping malls

Maximum Group Size for Walking, Cycling & Kayaking Tours Increased

From 1 November 2020, the maximum group size for walking, cycling, and kayaking tours will be increased from 10 to 20.

FYI: this number excludes the tour guide.

However, participants must still remain in sub-groups of 5 and maintain at least 1m safe distance between sub-groups.

SpongeBob and Squidward Cycling
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

There should be no intermingling between different sub-groups at all times.

The tours must also not exceed 8 hours.

On top of all of this, the prevailing Safe Management Measures should still be strictly adhere to.

For more information, you can refer to STB’s advisory.

Live Performances at Designated Venues To Resume

From 1 November 2020, live performances can resume at designated venues.

With up to 2 zones, cap of 100 attendees, each having a maximum of 50 people in attendance.

Wedding Receptions at Common Areas of HDB Flats Can Resume

From 9 November 2020, wedding receptions at common areas of HDB flats (eg. void decks) may resume, subject to the approval of town councils.

The reception must be organised by a professional wedding organiser or company providing such services.

And is subjected to a cap of 100 attendees, including the couple but excluding the vendors, as well as the prevailing safe distancing measures.

Couples and wedding organisers will need to submit their event details to the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI) and obtain a letter of acknowledgement

FYI: this is regardless of the couples’ ethnicity

Once you have your letter of acknowledgement from SMCCI, you can submit your application to the town council for approval.


Exiting Circuit Breaker: Phase 3 Is On The Horizon But It Will Need Everyone’s Cooperation

Seedly Circuit Breaker Phase 2 October Update and Phase 3 Roadmap

3 Phases of Re-Opening Singapore

The Circuit Breaker has been tough on all of us.

Especially on our finances and our retirement planning.

Naturally, a lot of us are looking forward to going back to our normal lives as soon as possible.

So that businesses can resume, jobs can be made available, and we can get our personal finances back on track.

To successfully exit the entire Circuit Breaker, there are a total of 3 phases which Singaporeans will need to go through.

  • Phase 1 (Safe Re-Opening) which has lasted for about 4 weeks
  • Phase 2 (Safe Transition) which we are currently in
  • Phase 3 (Safe Nation) which we have a roadmap planned out by the Multi-Ministry Task Force

And we’ve somewhat charted a path towards Phase 3 (Safe Nation).

But we will need everyone to cooperate and use TraceTogether, as well as to continue to adhere to the Safe Management Measures in place.


Singapore Exiting the Circuit Breaker: What Can I Do and Cannot Do?

Here’s an overview of what has happened so far post-Circuit Breaker.

From Circuit Breaker to Phase 1 (Safe Re-Opening)

Phase 1 commenced on 1 June 2020.

Apart from the essential businesses which are already operating, here are some of the activities which have resumed progressively:

  • Hairdressers and barbers can provide services beyond just a haircut
  • Home-based businesses will resume, but only delivery or collection is allowed
  • Motor vehicle servicing to resume
  • Aircon servicing to resume
  • Printing services to resume
  • Basic pet services to resume
  • School bookshops and shops selling school uniforms can resume

You can also visit your parents and grandparents, but limit to one per day.

Dropping off children at parents’ or grandparents’ place is allowed too.

If you are looking to get married, marriage solemnisations are allowed, involving only up to 10 persons for those taking place at home, the Registry of Marriages (ROM), or Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM).

For other venues, there is a limit of 20 people (not inclusive of the solemniser) or the safe capacity of the venue, whatever is lower.

Pre-schools will gradually reopen from 2 June 2020 onwards, but here are some of the conditions:

  • Children from kindergarten levels will resume school first
  • This is then followed by nursery levels and finally, infant care or playground

Primary schools and secondary schools will resume, with the following restrictions:

  • Graduating cohorts in primary or secondary schools will return to school on weekdays
  • Other cohorts will rotate weekly

Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute will also resume, but operating at a 50% student capacity at any one time.

When it comes to healthcare services, here are the services which will resume:

  • Specialist outpatient services
  • Medical procedures
  • Allied health services
  • Community-based services
  • Chronic disease management
  • Preventive health services, such as flu vaccinations

Senior activities will slowly resume so that the older folks can expect some level of activity.

Community-based centre services for Singaporeans with disabilities will gradually resume their services.


From Phase 1 to Phase 2 (Safe Transition)

Phase 2 commenced on 19 June 2020.

While it involved the resumption of most activities, activities are still subjected to safe distancing principles.

Here’s what you can do during Phase 2:

  • Small-group social gatherings of up to any five persons. Gatherings need to be within homes and households.
  • Retail businesses may re-open their outlets

Dining in will be allowed should the following criteria be met:

  • Up to five persons allowed to sit together
  • Tables must be space one metre apart.
  • For dining outlets with liquor sales, sales and consumption need to be ceased by 10.30pm.
  • Live music, television and video screenings are still not allowed in all Food and beverage (F&B) outlets

When it comes to classes:

  • Tuition and other private enrichment classes can resume (except singing or voice training classes)

On top of that:

  • Personal health, wellness and home-based services will resume
  • Registered clubs and societies will be allowed at their registered premises.
  • Eldercare service and health screenings will resume
  • Aesthetic services to resume
  • Visitations at residential facilities for the elderly will be allowed

When it comes to playgrounds, beaches, lawns and fields, stadium, swimming complexes, hard courts, gyms, fitness studios, bowling centres and function rooms, they will all be open.

All ActiveSG indoor sports will be closed until further notice after it was discovered that a COVID-19 patient had played badminton in a large group.

Malls and large standalone retail outlets will resume but there will be a limit to the capacity.

Operators are required to ensure that crowds and long queues are prevented.

Singapore Pools Reopen: Lottery Draws And Outlet Operations Resume From 22 Jun 2020

From 29 June 2020, Singapore Pools has been offering the following services:

ProductsWhere to Buy
Branches and authorised retail outletsSingapore Pools' Livewire venues and Off-course Betting CentresWebsite and mobile appPhone betting
TOTOOpenRemains closedOpenOpen
4D
Singapore SweepWill resume on 5 Aug 2020
SportsOpen
Horse Racing

You can now bet on 4D, TOTO, Sports and Horse Racing.

Via the 240 reopened Singapore Pools branches and authorised retail outlets, website and mobile app or over the phone.

However, Singapore Sweep only restarted on 5 August 2020 with the August draw.

Livewire, racecourse, and betting centres will still remain closed.

More information can be found on the Singapore Pools’ website.

More Attractions Re-Open: Casinos, Museums, Public Libraries, Wildlife Parks and Other Attractions to Reopen in July 2020

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced that the above-mentioned attractions will be allowed to reopen in July 2020.

However, STB also stated that:

“Most attractions will be restricted to 25% of their operating capacity “for a start”.
Attractions and tour operators must follow this rule and apply other safe management measures that are “tailored to reduce the COVID-19 transmission risks of each attraction or tour.”

For most of these attractions, you will have to book your timed-entry tickets in advance online.

1 July 2020 Reopening(s)

Marina Bay Sands

  • Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Casino — only open to existing members and those who have paid the annual levy
  • Sands SkyPark and Observation Deck at MBS
  • Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay — Only open to Friends of the Gardens members from 1 Jul, the rest of the public will have to wait until 11 Jul

Resorts World Sentosa

  • RWS Casino — only open to existing members and those who have paid the annual levy
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Universal Studios

Libraries and Museums

  • All NLB Public Libraries
  • ArtScience Museum — only open to Sands Rewards members who have pre-purchased tickets to the museum
  • National Museum of Singapore
  • National Gallery Singapore
  • Asian Civilisations Museum

Recreation

  • Bounce Singapore
  • Zero Latency Singapore

3 Jul 2020 Reopening(s)

Heritage Centres

  • Indian Heritage Centre
  • Malay Heritage Centre
  • Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

4 Jul 2020 Reopening(s)

Wildlife Parks

  • S.E.A Aquarium at RWS

6 Jul 2020 Reopening(s)

Wildlife Parks

  • Singapore Zoo
  • River Safari
  • Jurong Bird Park

23 Jul 2020 Reopening(s)

  • Singapore Flyer

Increase of Wedding & Cinema Caps and Updated Guidelines to Allow More Employees to Return to Work

Enabling More Employees to Return to Work

From 28 September 2020, the updated Requirements for Safe Management Measures (SMM) at the Workplace will take effect to allow more employees to return to work.

Mr Krabs Happy That SpongeBob Going Back to Work
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

While WFH will still remain as the default.

Employees may return to their workplaces provided employers can ensure:

  1. Employees continue to WFH for at least half their working hours
  2. No more than half of the employees are at the workplace at any point in time

To minimise crowding and possible congregation at common spaces, especially on public transport, employers are recommended to:

  1. Implement flexible workplace hours to allow employees to travel outside of peak periods
  2. Stagger reporting times so that half of all employees start work at or after 10am (outside of peak periods)

Business-Oriented Work Events May Resume

Work-related events within the workplace premises that are business-oriented will be allowed to resume.

For up to 50 persons with strict adherence to SMM requirements.

FYI: events which encourage social gatherings such as parties, celebrations, team bonding activities, dinner-and-dance, and gala dinners cannot be organised

Resumption of work-related events at external venues will be considered at a later date.

Up to 100 Persons Permitted for Worship Services

From 3 October 2020, all religious organisations will be allowed to conduct congregational and worship services for up to 100 persons.

Provided safe distancing measures are in place.

Up to 100 Attendees for Marriage Solemnisation and Wedding Receptions

From 3 October 2020, wedding receptions will be expanded to allow up to 100 unique attendees (including the wedding couple, excluding vendors and service providers) in total.

Participants can be split into multiple zones of up to 50 persons each.

Or split by staggered timings.

From November 2020, wedding receptions will also be allowed to take place at HDB common areas.

Such as void decks and Multi-Purpose Halls.

More details to follow.

Cinemas Allowed to Increase Capacity to 50% of Original Operating Capacity

From 1 October 2020, large cinema halls (with more than 300 seats) will be allowed to have up to three zones of up to 50 patrons each.

SpongeBob and Patrick Eating Popcorn while Watching Movie
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

Other cinema halls can increase capacity to 50% of original operating capacity.

Provided safe management measures can be adhered to.

Children Above 6 Years Old Need to Wear Masks

The legal cut-off age for children to wear masks will be adjusted from the current 2 years old and above to 6 years old and above.

This is after WHO and UNICEF have issued a guidance that young children below 6 years old may not have the coordination necessary to properly wear masks.

All young children are still strongly encouraged to use a mask or face shield, especially in group settings.


[Update] A Roadmap to Phase 3 And Beyond

To enter Phase 3, Singapore needs to be super confident that we can deal with and manage COVID-19 adequately.

On 20 October, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce MMTF) has highlighted 3 key enablers for Phase 3 to happen:

1. Continued Adherence to Safe Management Measures

To prevent a resurgence of COVID-19, as we have seen in other countries as they open up to more activities.

We will have to keep up the habits and practices of the past few months.

This includes:

  • Small group sizes both in public and for visitors to homes
  • Safe distancing to disallow or minimise interactions between groups
  • Social responsibility by wearing masks, maintaining strict personal hygiene, and seeking medical attention for any symptoms of acute respiratory infection

2. Pre-Event Testing

From mid-October to December 2020,  pre-event testing will take place at larger-scale and higher-risk activities like:

  • wedding receptions
  • live performances
  • sports events, and etc

This will hopefully allow more activities to resume safely.

3. Expansion of Digital Contact Tracing Tools

A higher take-up rate (70 per cent of Singapore’s population) for TraceTogether needs to happen before Phase 3 can begin.

As this will allow the Ministry of Health to quickly contact trace and ringfence any infections.

What Does Phase 3 Look Like?

Once these 3 key enablers are met, we will be able to move to Phase 3.

1. Increasing Group Size

The group size for public gatherings and the number of visitors allowed in homes could be increased from 5 persons to 8 persons.

2. Increasing Capacity Limits

The capacity limits for public venues (eg. museums) and events (eg. weddings) could be increased with multiple zones of 50 persons.

As mentioned earlier, this might also involve a pre-event test.

3. Considerations for Activities in Higher-Risk Settings

HIgher-risk settings like:

  • bars
  • karaoke lounges
  • nightclubs
  • pubs

cannot open as their activities pose a higher risk of transmission.

They are unlikely to resume at the start of Phase 3 but the MMTF is considering limited pilots to see how the industry can resume safely.

4. Facilitating Travel and Re-Opening of Borders

Singapore is gradually allowing more travel to resume in a safe manner.

For travellers from low-risk countries or regions, the unilateral opening of borders and Air Travel Bubbles will allow them to enter Singapore with a COVID-19 test and without a need to serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

For travellers from higher-risk countries or regions, more ways are being explored to allow more travellers to enter Singapore without a need to serve SHN while minimising risk of transmission.

Currently, Singapore Citizens, PRs, and Long-Term Pass Holders who travel out of Singapore from 27 March 2020 onwards are responsible for their own inpatient medical bills if they have onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

They also cannot access government subsidies and insurance coverage (such as MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans).


But with the move to reopen our borders, individuals travelling overseas will have access to government subsidies and insurance coverage.

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In short, everyone stays safe, do our part as a nation, and we can get through this together!

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About Ming Feng
A stint in Bloomberg gifted me with a beer belly, which only grew larger when I moved on to become a Professional Trader. Now I turn caffeine into digestible finance-related content.
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