More employees returning to the workplace, expansion of capacity limits for worship services and weddings, and other things you can do.
Finally, some good news! After living in limbo during Phase 1, followed by three months of Phase 2, Singapore is moving towards a new normal, step by step. Besides restaurant dine-ins and social gatherings (of up to five people), we’ve been out and about to nature parks, attractions and malls. Now that the government has lifted more restrictions, we’re here to tell you about all the things you can and cannot do in October. Psst: The government may present more reopening plans in the next few weeks or so. We foresee a certain Phase 3 announcement happening really soon!
[Phase 2 Singapore updates from 24 September]
Phase 2: Post-circuit breaker Singapore
Essential business travel will be granted to senior executives with regional or international responsibilities. Travellers will have to follow a controlled itinerary. Upon return, they’ll have the option of taking a Covid-19 test instead of serving a Stay-Home Notice (SHN), and self-isolating until the test results are out.
Going a little stir-crazy from staying in our little red dot? Singapore will continue to allow general travel to Brunei and New Zealand, and for students studying aboard. However, do take note of entry requirements imposed by these countries. The borders of New Zealand and Brunei remain closed as of now. Alternatively, you can enjoy playing tourist in the city with SingapoRediscovers vouchers come December. We’ve sussed out 15 ways to spend your $100 vouchers in case you’re out of ideas!
General travellers from the above countries will not have to serve a stay-home notice (SHN) at their residence upon their arrival in Singapore. Instead, they will be tested for Covid-19 and can continue their activities once they’ve received a negative result. SHN will be reduced from 14 days to 7 days for travels from low-risk countries and regions such as Australia (excluding Victoria state), Macao, mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia.
All incoming travellers from other countries and regions will continue to serve a 14-day SHN at SHN facilities. Essential travel is still permitted under Green/Fast Lane arrangements.
Back to the office!
Miss your colleagues? You might be able to swap that Zoom meeting with a physical one from 28 September. Though working from home remains the default, more employees are allowed to return to their workplaces – but only for half the working hours during the week.
Also, no more than half of such employees should be in the workplace at one time. Split teams, staggered reporting times or shift arrangements should be implemented.
Business-oriented events like conferences, seminars, corporate retreats may resume for up to 50 people (with safe distancing measures in place).
In the community
From 3 October, solemnisations and wedding receptions can take place with up to 100 people in the room (including the wedding couple, excluding vendors and service providers). Guests should be split into multiple zones or by staggered timings of up to 50 people for each zone or slot. Do note there should be a gap of at least 30 minutes between slots for cleaning and disinfection of the event space.
Places of worship have also increased the limit for congregational and other worship services from 50 to 100 people. The groups will be divided into two zones of 50 people for congregational services as well.
As for wakes and funerals, 30 people may be present at any one time.
All outdoor exercise classes in public spaces at SportSG sports centres, parks and HDB common areas will continue. Classes must be organised by a registered instructor and all safety measures should be imposed. Other general group exercises are still capped at five people.
The one-metre safe distancing requirement in lifts will be exempted to reduce overcrowding. Instead, wear a mask, refrain from talking and use hand sanitisers provided in the lifts.
Malls like Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza have also implemented odd and even date entry restrictions on weekends, based on the last digit of your NRIC or FIN. This is to avoid large crowds and long queues at these areas.
Small-scale live performances may soon resume too, so stay tuned for updates!
[Phase 2 Singapore updates from 25 August]
F&B outlets will only be allowed to play recorded melodies as soft background music. This is to discourage patrons from speaking loudly and decrease the risk of droplet spread.
Please refrain from booking multiple tables for large gatherings, though! Those who have more than five people in the same household may book more than one table. However, maintain limited interactions between the tables. Restaurants are counting on us to adhere to the rules so they can continue to operate.
Your social life is finally back on track
We’re all about mini catch-ups with the mates in small group social gatherings of up to five people. Oh, and hands up if your household has been hosting up to five visitors on weekends!
Shop, eat and repeat
Hurrah for shopaholics! You can finally go beyond online shopping as retail businesses have reopened their brick-and-mortar outlets. But malls in Singapore may be subjected to capacity limits, so it’s best to avoid long queues for now.
Cafes, restaurants, and food courts are open for dine-in. However, there shouldn’t be more than five diners per table. Liquor sales and consumption must end at 10.30pm. Also, live music and television or video screenings at F&B outlets are not allowed at the moment. Some bars will remain closed, so it’s still takeaway cocktails for now. Refer to this list of permitted services for more info.
Up your fitness game
Gym rats and the outdoorsy bunch, we hear you. Sports, parks and other public facilities including playgrounds, beaches, swimming pools, bowling alleys, stadiums, gym and fitness studios, along with function rooms and facilities in private condos and clubs, have reopened.
Explore the best of Singapore
Museums have reopened with safety measures such as SafeEntry check-in and check-out, plus temperature taking and mandatory masks for visitors. Tours are allowed, but in groups of five or less.
Heritage centres including The Indian Heritage Centre, Malay Heritage Centre and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall are also open for visitors.
Not sure what to do on the weekend? Check out our wildlife parks, libraries or indoor and outdoor attractions. These include the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, Madame Tussauds at Sentosa, Gardens by the Bay, Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A Aquarium, ArtScience Museum, Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, Science Centre Singapore and Snow City Singapore.
Most attractions will be limited in capacity to ensure safe distancing, so make sure you book your tickets in advance.
More entertainment coming your way
Cinephiles, you no longer have to Netflix and chill at home as cinemas will continue movie screenings and increase their capacity to 50% of their original operating capacity – or maintain the current maximum limit of 50 patrons in each cinema hall. Large cinema halls with more than 300 seats may sit up to three zones of 50 partons each.
Family and friends of up to five people may sit together without the one-metre rule. A mask must be worn at all times, including inside the cinema hall.
We’re particularly thrilled about this one: All personal wellness and home-based services are back on track. Go ahead and book your massages, spas, facials, mani-pedis at nail salons, hair removal and other aesthetic services. Of course, don’t forget to adhere to safe distancing and other precautionary measures.
Healthcare and more
All other healthcare services such as individual healthcare screenings, face-to-face visits at residential facilities for the elderly and eldercare services will continue too.
These places and activities remain a no-no
There are still some activities during Phase 2 in Singapore – basically indoor spaces where large groups of people may come in close contact for prolonged periods – that remain unavailable. This includes cultural and entertainment venues like selected bars, nightclubs and karaoke studios.
“You can fool the rules but you cannot fool the virus”
Exciting times lie ahead, but it’s our duty to maintain appropriate safe distancing, adhere to the precautionary measures and use the SafeEntry check-in system when required.
As Health Minister Gan Kim Yong so nicely put it, you can get away with flouting the rules but you cannot fool the virus. It’s crucial that we wear a mask at all times, maintain good hygiene and keep hand sanitisers handy. If we all play our part, Singapore will be out of Phase 2 before you know it (fingers crossed)!