COVID-19: More Singapore workplaces allowed to re-open gradually, safe measures needed

·Editorial Team
·3-min read
An employee, wearing a face mask as a preventive measure, mans a shop along the Orchard Road shopping belt here on 6 May, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)
An employee, wearing a face mask as a preventive measure, mans a shop along the Orchard Road shopping belt here on 6 May, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — More workplaces will gradually be allowed to re-open, but with the necessary safe management measures in place, as authorities here begin to ease some circuit breaker measures over the coming weeks.

In a press release on Wednesday, (6 May) the Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI) said that the “importance to the economy and global supply chains, their contribution to local employment and their ability to minimise risks of transmission at their workplaces” will be taken into account when reopening more workplaces.

“The government will work closely with the trade associations and chambers and our businesses to help them prepare and implement the specific measures before they resume operations,” it added.

The ministry did not specify the industries of the workplaces being considered.

All businesses must put in place measures to minimise crowding within their premises and ensure high sanitation and hygiene standards, it added.

These include:

  • Staggering working hours and break times, to minimise crowding of workers.

  • Employers must cancel or defer all events or activities that involve close and prolonged contact amongst participants.

  • All social gatherings at the workplace must also be cancelled or deferred, including interacting at staff canteens, or being in groups during meals or breaks.

  • Clearly demarcated queue lines and signage for customers/visitors.

  • Clearly identified waiting area for customers or visitors and delivery personnel with demarcations for safe distancing.

  • Implementing SafeEntry at the workplace and ensuring that employees have downloaded and activated the TraceTogether app.

  • Making sure that customers or visitors and delivery personnel observe at least one-metre spacing at all times and do not cluster together.

  • Ensuring that all staff, patrons and delivery personnel on the premises have their masks on.

  • Placing hand sanitisers at high-touch areas.

  • Observing high levels of hygiene and cleanliness in accordance with the SG Clean checklists, as well as the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency guidelines, which are relevant for the sector.

All workplaces, barring essential services and those in key economic sectors, have been ordered to close from 7 April till 1 June following an extension of the circuit breaker period.

As part of easing some of these measures, certain businesses have been allowed to re-open from next week, including retail laundry services, barbers and hairdressers – for basic haircut services – and retail of pet supplies.

INFO: Enterprise Singapore
INFO: Enterprise Singapore

Retail outlets of cakes and confectionery, packaged snacks, and desserts may be open for takeaway and delivery only.

The manufacturing and onsite preparation of all food including cakes and confectionary, ice cream, cocoa, chocolate and chocolate products and other snacks will also be allowed.

These businesses that are allowed to resume operations do not need to seek exemption from the MTI before resuming operations, said the ministry on Tuesday.

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