With the number of community cases remaining low in Singapore, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will ease a number of measures to help facilitate business operations by supporting essential business travel and more.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Health (MOH), a new business travel pass will be piloted for senior executives in Singapore with regional responsibilities who need to travel regularly for official and business purposes.
Those on this pass will be required to abide by a strict controlled itinery when they travel overseas for work.
Upon return, the traveller will be given two options:
- Do a COVID-19 test and self-isolate until the test results are out
- Serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN)
To ensure that we can carefully monitor the public health outcomes of this pilot, the number of passes will be strictly limited in the initial phase.
If the pilot is successful, and public health measures are fully abided by, the Taskforce will consider expanding the scheme in a safe and calibrated manner.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has also updated the Requirements for Safe Management Measures (SMM) at the workplace to continue to ensure safe workplaces for all. These updated requirements will take effect from 28 September 2020.
Apart from that, the following guidelines have also been updated:
From 3 October 2020, all religious organisations will be allowed to conduct congregational and other worship services for up to 100 people, split into two zones of 50 people each. Safe distancing and safe management measures will still have to be in place.
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) is also considering a pilot to increase worship limits up to 250 persons, consisting of five zones with 50 people each for congregational services. Further details will be released on a later date.
Marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions
From 3 October 2020, the current pilot for wedding receptions will be expanded to allow up to 100 unique attendees in total (including the wedding couple, excluding vendors and service providers). Participants 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.
This is subject to premise capacity and venue operators may impose a lower cap if they are unable to comply with the zoning or staggered timing requirements.
The cap for solemnisations held in homes and the Registries of Civil and Muslim Marriages Building remains unchanged at a maximum of 10 persons (excluding the solemniser).
Starting in November 2020, a pilot will also be launched to allow wedding receptions organised by a registered wedding organiser to take place at Housing Development Board (HDB) common areas. Further details will be released at a later stage.
From 1 October 2020, movie venues where safe distancing and safe management measures are well adhered to will be able to expand its capacity of large cinema halls. Halls with more than 300 seats will be allowed to have three zones of 50 patrons each. While other cinema halls would also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50% of their original capacity, or maintain the current limit of up to 50 patrons per hall, subject to the relevant safe management measures.
Mask-wearing rules for children
The legal cut-off age for children to wear masks has been adjusted to six years old and above, up from the current two years old and above. Currently, the guidelines allow for greater flexibility on mask use for young children and permit children 12 uears old and below to use a face shield in place of a mask.
Children and other persons who may not have the coordination necessary for the proper use of masks or face shields, should continue to be supervised when doing so.
Update on community testing
The MOH also issued an update on voluntary COVID-19 testing for taxi and Private Hire Car (PHC) drivers, as well as a pilot testing operation for stallholders at hawker centres, markets and coffeeshops in Marine Parade Constituency, as well as selected groups of food delivery personnel.
Volunatry testing operations for taxi and Private Hire Car (PHC) drivers took place over the period of 8 - 22 September 2020. During this period more than 10,000 drivers were tested. At the same time, more than 750 stallholders and food delivery personnel were also tested at Marine Parade in a pilot run over the weekend (from 19-20 September 2020).
All drivers, stallholders and food delivery personnel who have participated in these voluntary testing exercises have thus far tested negative for COVID-19. Details on the roll-out of COVID-19 testing for stallholders and food delivery personnel will be made known when ready.
MOH pointed out that the results of the community testing operations indicate very low prevalence rates in the community, and serves as an indicator that safe management measures are working.
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