COVID-19: Mask wearing required while on dance floor or singing under pilot scheme for nightlife sector

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
A DJ plays to his crowds on a busy night at Zouk in Singapore The Zouk club, one of the hottest spots in Singapore. Singapore has recently been rated as one of the top night spots in the region, and the club has lasted more than a decade in an industry that recycles itself every few months.
A DJ plays to the crowds before the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Customers of certain nightlife outlets chosen for reopening pilots must wear masks at all times including on the dance floor or during singing except while eating or drinking, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Friday (6 November).

The requirement is among several safe-management measures the outlets must follow. The other measures include ensuring that all customers entering karaoke lounges and nightclubs had tested negative for COVID-19 24 hours prior to end of the activity at each outlet; no sale, serving and consumption of alcohol after 10.30pm; and activation of CCTVs to cover all parts of the common areas and rooms with recordings stored for at least 28 days.

“Even if the pilots turn out well, it is expected that the nightlife industry will not resume operations in their original form for a considerable period. The government has thus worked out an assistance package to help nightlife establishments pivot to permissible activities or exit the industry,” the authorities said.

The pilot for pubs and bars will start by December and last for a period of two months.

As karaoke lounges and nightclubs will be required to fulfil the COVID-19 testing measure, their pilots will start by January 2021 to allow them more time to make the necessary preparations. The pilots for these outlets will last for three months, as more time is required to assess them for reopening due to the much higher risks and more stringent measures.

MTI and MHA are working with various nightlife business associations to identify a small number of nightlife outlets to participate in the pilots.

Those outlets that breach the measures will face penalties under the COVID-19 regulations, and may be removed from the pilot. Enforcement agencies will monitor the pilots closely to assess if it will be safe to allow the industry to resume limited operations after the pilot or remain closed. In the event of a COVID-19 cluster at these outlets, the authorities may suspend or terminate the pilots.

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