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Singapore’s latest measures (10 Aug): Allowances for the vaccinated, eased border entry approvals, and more

Singapore’s latest measures (10 Aug): Allowances for the vaccinated, eased border entry approvals, and more

Per the new transition plan, the country will be reopened in two stages: first on 10 August, and another easing on 19 August. In the latter stage, 50% of employees are allowed to return to workplaces. All the news summed up for you in infographics.

On 6 August 2021 (Friday), Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) announced the completion of the mid-point review of Phase Two (HA), and as a result, the easing of the nation’s safe management measures in two timelines: first in 10 August (Tuesday), and another round of easing effective 19 August (Thursday), “if conditions remain stable”.

The Ministry shared: “In particular, we will adopt a vaccination-differentiated approach when adjusting our safe management and border measures.

“Fully vaccinated individuals, who have good protection against the risk of infection or severe illnesses, will be able to engage in a wider range of activities. Unvaccinated individuals will need to exercise tighter safe management measures to protect themselves and those around them.”

What happens from 10 August onwards?

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Social gatherings

For the fully-vaccinated (i.e. two weeks after receiving the second dose), both social gathering group size and unique household visitors are increased from two to five persons. The number of gatherings should, however, not be more than two per day.

As for the unvaccinated, social gathering group size and unique household visitors is kept at two persons. The number of gatherings should, likewise, be not more than two per day.

Dining-in at F&B establishments

If the diners are all fully-vaccinated, groups of up to five persons will be allowed to dine-in at F&B establishments (i.e restaurants).

“Unvaccinated children aged 12 years and below may be included within the group of five persons as long as all the children are from the same household,” the Ministry added.

Dining in at these establishments is, however, prohibited for those who are unvaccinated.

Should the dining-in venue be at hawker centres or coffee shops, only a group of two fully-vaccinated persons is allowed to dine-in.

For the unvaccinated, in this case, dining in is allowed – but likewise kept a maximum of two persons.

The Ministry explained: “Hawker centres and coffee shops provide convenient and affordable food services within the community.

“As these are open-air and naturally ventilated spaces, we will extend a special concession for both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons to dine in the hawker centres and coffee shops. But this will be subject to a smaller group size of up to two persons only.”

Resuming entry approvals for vaccinated work pass holders and their dependants

According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), it will resume entry approvals for work pass holders and their dependants with travel history to higher-risk countries and regions.

This means, as of 6 August 2021, work pass holders and their dependants with travel history to all countries/regions except Brunei, Hong Kong, Mainland China (including Jiangsu Province), Macao, New Zealand and Taiwan, can start applying for entry approval, on the condition that they are fully vaccinated.

All excluded are all long-term pass holders and their dependants, who continue to be disallowed entry into Singapore, as announced by the Ministry of Health earlier. These countries/regions are India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, where anyone with recent travel history (including transit) within the last 21 days are excluded from entry permissions. Entry approvals for those from Indonesia are also limited.

The vaccination condition for entry will not apply to work pass holders and their dependants who remained in these lower-risk countries/regions within the last 21 days prior to arriving in Singapore, and those applying under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).

“Eligible work pass holders and their dependants must be fully vaccinated before arrival in Singapore. They will also be subjected to the prevailing health protocols in Singapore,” MOM shared.

Sports and exercise and personalised services

Indoor mask-off activities can be conducted for fully-vaccinated individuals. The arrangement must, however, be kept at a maximum of five persons per group, and at a maximum of 30 persons per class.

For those who are unvaccinated, participating in indoor mask-on activities is prohibited.

As for indoor mask-on, outdoor mask-on and –off activities, the arrangement for the fully-vaccinated must, likewise, be kept at a maximum of five persons per group, but at a maximum of 50 persons per class. In this case, the unvaccinated can participate with the same arrangement.

For mask-off personalised services such as facial, massage, and spas, only the fully-vaccinated can attend and participate.

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Event sizes and capacity limits

For the fully-vaccinated, there will be a limit of 500 attendees. “Otherwise, only up to 50 attendees will be allowed without pre-event testing (PET),” the Ministry said.

This regulation applies to the following events:

  • Cinemas,
  • MICE,
  • Live performances,
  • Spectator sports,
  • Worship services, and
  • Marriage solemnisations (which the group size must be kept at five persons).

For events like wedding receptions, however, there will be a limit of 250 attendees (fully-vaccinated), which the group size per table must be kept at five persons.

As for funerals, the Ministry added that “a maximum of 30 attendees at any point.”

What happens from 19 August onwards?

Work-from-home arrangements

According to MOH, work-from-home requirements will be eased – thereby up to 50% of employees will be allowed to return to the workplace.

Event sizes and capacity limits

For the fully-vaccinated, there will be a limit of 1,000 attendees. If not, only up to 50 attendees will be allowed without pre-event testing (PET). This arrangement applies to the aforementioned events like marriage solemnisations.

There will, however, be no change of arrangements for events like wedding receptions and funerals.

With regard to attractions, cruises, museums, and public libraries, the Ministry noted that:

  • The operating capacity of attractions and cruises will be increased from the current capacity of 25% to 50%;
  • Museums and public libraries will also be allowed to operate at an increased operating capacity of 50%.

Removal of temperature screening requirement

“With high levels of vaccine coverage among our population, transmission among vaccinated individuals and disease severity in vaccinated but infected persons are likely to be substantially lower.

“In addition, we now have the ability to pick up infections earlier through increased surveillance measures including self-test antigen rapid test (ART) kits and rostered routine testing with fast and easy tests (FETs) in higher risk settings.

“With these other targeted public health tools, we will remove the requirement for temperature screening in public premises, together with the other relaxation of measures planned from 19 August 2021 onwards,” the Ministry of Health shared.

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Option for 14-day Stay Home Notice (SHN)

According to MOH, from 20 August 2021, 2359 hrs, fully vaccinated travellers from specific countries/regions may be able to apply to opt out of dedicated SHN facilities, and serve their 14-day SHN at their respective places of residence or other suitable accommodation.

Travellers from the following nations can apply:

  • Australia,
  • Austria,
  • Canada,
  • Germany,
  • Italy,
  • Norway,
  • The Republic of Korea (ROK), and
  • Switzerland

“All other travellers (i.e unvaccinated) from the aforementioned countries/regions must continue to serve the SHN in a dedicated SHN facility,” the Ministry reminded.

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“Vaccinate or regular test” regime for selected sectors of the workforce

Starting 1 October 2021, unvaccinated employees will be required to undergo regular testing “to pick up possible infections early so that they can be treated early.”

“This will also mitigate risk of transmission to their colleagues and the public,” MOH added.

The regime will be introduced in the following settings:

  • Those working in the healthcare sector, eldercare sector and settings with children 12 years and below;
  • Those working in sectors that interact with customers in higher-risk mask-off settings, and at our borders or COVID-19 frontline work. These sectors include F&B establishments, gyms and fitness studios, and personal care services,
  • Those working in the public service sectors like public officers, or the uniformed services.

“We will give some time for individuals to get vaccinated, thus the requirement will take effect from 1 October 2021.

“Beyond that, any unvaccinated persons from the above sectors will have to be tested with an ART kit twice a week. For the small group that remains medically ineligible for vaccines, the Government will subsidise their tests,” MOH said.

Related newsFrom 7 Aug, Singapore opens up borders to travellers from Taiwan if PCR test is negative

Image / Singapore’s Senior Minister of State Zaqy Mohamad’s Facebook

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region! 

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