According to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, the number of Covid-19 cases in the community has remained low, which means safe distancing rules will be eased and more activities will be allowed to resume in the coming weeks. Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force with Mr Gan, added that the Government is already working on a road map for the third and final phase of Singapore’s reopening.
So come Sep 28, here are some of the things you can look forward to.
Children below six no longer have to wear masks from Sep 28
Previously, only children below the ages of two were exempt from wearing face masks in public. The Ministry of Health had now amended that rule to the age of six in order to align its guidelines with those of the World Health Organisation (WHO). MOH added that current guidelines allow children aged 12 years and below to use a face shield in place of a mask.
More staff can work at their office from Sep 28
According to The Straits Times, more employees will be allowed to return to the workplace, although safe management measures must be in place and employers are encouraged to implement measures such as flexible working hours and staggered reporting times. But don’t be too upset just yet. If you’ve enjoyed working from home, employers still must ensure that such employees 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.
Workplace events will be allowed to resume in office for up to 50 people
Work-related events that take place in the office – such as seminars, corporate retreats and annual general meetings – have been given the green light to go ahead as long as safe-management measures are in place. However, large-scale social gatherings, including team bonding and dinner and dance events, remain prohibited both in and outside the workplace.
To reduce the risk of exposure to infection, a cap of 50 people will be allowed, although this number might be lower depending on the venue’s capacity and participants must stay at least 1m apart from each other. Food and drinks should not be served unless participants are seated individually.
Pilot scheme to allow essential business travel for senior executives
Essential business travel will also be permitted for senior executives with extensive regional or international responsibilities through a new pilot scheme. Under the trial, a limited number of passes will be given out through Singapore’s economic agencies and those who travel will have to abide by a “strict controlled itinerary”. When they return, the traveller will be given the option of doing a Covid-19 test instead of serving a stay-home notice, and self-isolate until test results are out.
Gradual expansion of cinema capacities from Oct 1
From Oct 1, large cinema halls with more than 300 seats will be allowed to admit up to 150 patrons in three zones of 50 patrons each. Other, smaller cinema halls will also be allowed 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, subject to safe management measures.
Up to 100 people will be allowed for worship services and weddings from Oct 3
From Oct 3, all religious organisations will be allowed to conduct congressional and other worship services for up to 100 persons, as long as safe distancing measures are in place. Up to 100 unique guests, including the wedding couple, but excluding vendors and service provides, will be allowed at the venue. They should be split up into groups not larger than 50, or attend the wedding at separate time slots. There should be at least 30 minutes between slots for cleaning and disinfection of the event space.
Text: Linette Lai/ The Straits Times
Additional Reporting: Cheryl Chan