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Singapore's Phase 3 (HA) updates: Default WFH, 2-person limit on dine-ins, and more

Singapore's Phase 3 (HA) updates: Default WFH, 2-person limit on dine-ins, and more

The Government will also extend the current enhancements to the Jobs Support Scheme for affected sectors by three weeks, before tapering it down to 10% for another two weeks.

Work-from-home (WFH) will continue to remain the default arrangement as Singapore transitions through Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced on Friday (18 June 2021).

This will be part of efforts to control COVID-19 transmission risks by reducing interactions within the workplace and in public places, the Taskforce stated. During this period, employers are reminded to ensure the practice continues, and for employees that need to come to the workplace, to stagger their start times and implement flexible working hours.

The Taskforce said: "There should continue to be no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites. For workplaces, social gatherings continue to be disallowed, and work-related events (e.g. product launches, townhalls) should continue to disallow F&B."

This default WFH arrangement is part of an updated approach to the country's gradual reopening to Phase 3 (HA), which the Taskforce highlighted is due to the persistence of undetected community transmission cases.

The following calibrated reopening plans will apply from today, 21 June (Monday):

Higher-risk activities such as dining-in at F&B establishments and indoor mask-off sports/exercise will only be allowed to resume in group sizes of up to two persons, instead of up to five persons as previously announced.

  • Dine-in: A group of more than two persons who are not from the same household will not be allowed to dine-in together at F&B establishments, even if they are split across multiple tables.
  • Indoor mask-off sports/ exercise activities: Gyms and fitness studios may resume indoor mask-off sports/ exercise activities in group sizes of up to two persons, and in classes of up to 30 persons including the instructor, with safe distancing of at least two metres between individuals and three metres between groups. For mask-on activities and outdoor mask-off activities, these can continue in groups of no more than five persons, in classes of up to 30 persons including the instructor. Full updates by SportSG can be found here

The Taskforce said: "Concurrently, we will onboard staff in these settings as quickly as possible onto regular Fast and Easy Tests (FET), starting with using antigen rapid tests (ART). In the coming weeks, we will build up the capacity for FET, and expect a regular FET regime to be in place for those working in these settings by around mid-July."

Meanwhile, wedding receptions will remain banned until mid-July 2021, as these are still higher-risk activities where attendees tend to socialise more and over a longer period of time.

Jobs Support Scheme and COVID-19 Recovery Grant (Temporary) extended for affected sectors and workers

priya june 2021 phase 3 ha updates 21 june moh

In view of the above, the Government will be extending the current enhancements to the Jobs Support Scheme for affected sectors by three weeks, before tapering it down to 10% for another two weeks. More details here

Further, to provide targeted support to hawkers who are self-employed, the Government will extend the subsidies for fees for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services, and provide rental waivers, till mid-July 2021 for stallholders in centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators.

Last, to help other workers who remain affected by the extended tightened safe management measures, the Government will also extend the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (Temporary) [CRG-T] until 31 July 2021. Existing CRG-T recipients who continue to require assistance can also apply for the second tranche of CRG-T support in July. More details will be shared by the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

In brief: Further Phase 3 (HA) measures

Phased roll-out of regular Fast and Easy Tests (FET) for staff involved in higher-risk activities

All staff who work at settings with unmasked clients/patrons, or where there is prolonged contact between individuals, will need to be placed on a regular FET regime, using tests such as ART. These include staff of dine-in F&B establishments; personal care services (e.g. facial and nail services, spas/ saunas, massage establishments, hairdressing, and make-up services); and gyms and fitness studios where clients are unmasked.

The regular 14-day FET requirement for staff at these settings will be made mandatory from around mid-July 2021.

ART COVID-19 for visitors of residential care homes serving elderly

To enhance existing visitor management measures when physical visits resume from 21 June, visitors to residential care homes serving elderly will need to take a FET at the home and test negative prior to entry. The homes will be using ARTs for this purpose.

The Taskforce said: "We seek the patience and understanding of visitors that some homes may require more time to put in place the necessary procedures for ART and will only be able to resume visits at a later date. Other homes may start off with a smaller number of visitors to allow them to stabilise their operational processes before accommodating a larger number of visits. Visitors should continue to schedule visits with the home ahead of time, and take into consideration the added time required to complete the ART."

Deployment of SafeEntry Gateway check-out boxes

In the coming weeks, to strengthen the TraceTogether (TT) and SafeEntry (SE) programmes, SafeEntry Gateway (SEGW) check-out boxes will also be rolled out progressively at venues with high footfall to facilitate SE check-outs. This follows public feedback from SEGW users who want to perform SE check-out, but are unable to do so currently, and it will help to facilitate more precise contact tracing efforts.

SEGW check-out boxes will be deployed at venues with higher throughput of visitors (e.g. malls, hospitals and polyclinics), and places where individuals are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods with masks off (e.g. dine-in F&B outlets and gyms). Eligible businesses will be notified and will receive their SEGW check-out boxes in the coming weeks.

Read the Taskforce's full updates here.

Photo / MTF

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