On 3 April 2020, MOH issued a press release on “Additional Measures to Minimise Further Spread of COVID-19 Cases” which outlined enhanced safe distancing measures to reduce the risk of further local transmission of COVID-19. The measures include the closure of workplace premises, retail outlets except for those necessary to support the daily living needs of the population, and limiting restaurants and food and beverage outlets to takeaway or delivery only.
This document elaborates on the suspension of activities at workplace premises. To prevent further spread of the virus, the following measures are for strict compliance with effect from 7 April 2020.
- Essential Services and their related supply chains and service providers are exempted from the suspension. All other business, social, or other activities that cannot be conducted through telecommuting or other means from home shall be suspended from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020. The list of activities that will be allowed to continue to operate will be updated at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/essentialservices.
- Entities that are able to continue to operate their business (in limited or full capacity) with their employees working from home should continue to do so.
- The provision of food and essential health items to the public is an essential service. Food suppliers (including food and food ingredient production, food manufacturing, food processing, abattoirs/slaughter houses, food caterers, importers & traders and food logistics-cold stores/warehouses), food retail (including supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery & fruit stores, wholesale markets, wet markets), food & beverages (F&B) outlets (including restaurants, hawker centres, coffeeshops and food courts), and pharmacies will remain open. However, F&B outlets can only offer take-away and deliveries only; no dining in is allowed.
- Entities providing Essential Services must comply with the following:
- All activities that can take place through telecommuting must be done from home.
- Employers must implement safe distancing measures to reduce physical interactions by
- Reducing the need for and duration of physical interactions;
- Staggering working hours;
- Postponing all group events; and
- Implementing shift work and/or split team arrangements.
- F&B outlets (including restaurants, hawker centres, coffeeshops and food courts) can continue to operate for take-away and/or delivery only. This is to reduce interactions outside of the household. Outlets which do not currently offer take-away and/or delivery can do so or allow third-party food delivery services to do so for them. While patrons and delivery drivers can continue to enter the premises to access take-away services, there will be no dine-in service, and nobody is should consume any food or drinks on-site whilst waiting for takeaway food. F&B outlets that remain open must adhere to the enhanced Safe Distancing Measures in their premises, and minimise crowds by ensuring patrons are spaced at least 1 metre apart at all times (i.e. within the premise and when queuing).
Entities which carry out activities listed in Annex A can continue to operate from their workplace premises. They can continue to operate until informed otherwise. They are required to submit details of their plans to operate with enhanced safe distancing measures in place at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg by end of 13 Apr.
Entities which would like to be exempted from the suspension should first read this guidance document and Frequently Asked Questions provided at Annex B by MTI, and should they still wish to apply to be exempted, they may make an application at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg. Only entities performing, or providing critical support for, essential services will be exempted.
We expect these measures to be in place until 4 May 2020, but this may be extended if necessary. Social responsibility is critical in slowing the transmission of the virus. We urge everyone to play their part in the fight against COVID-19. Those who are unwell, even with mild flu-like symptoms, should see a doctor and stay at home to prevent any potential transmission of illness to others. By exercising social responsibility, we can protect ourselves and our loved ones.
The Multi-Ministry Taskforce will regularly review the Safe Distancing measures and calibrate them as the global and local situation evolves. Members of the public are advised to refer to the MOH website for the latest measures. For business owners who wish to find out more on the suspension of activities, please see the Frequently Asked Questions in Annex B or contact our call centre at 6898 1800 or SafeDistancing@enterprisesg.gov.sg.