FAQ: Your guide to Phase 2 of the reopening of Singapore

·8-min read
SINGAPORE - JUNE 07:  A woman wearing a protective mask rides a skate scooter along the Marina Bay waterfront with the central business district seen in the background on June 7, 2020 in Singapore. From June 2, Singapore embarked on phase one of a three phase approach against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it began to ease the partial lockdown measures by allowing the safe re-opening of economic activities which do not pose high risk of transmission. This include the resumption of selected health services, re-opening of schools with school children attending schools on rotational basis, manufacturing and production facilities, construction sites that adhere to safety measures, finance and information services that do not require interactions and places of worship, amongst others. Retail outlets, social and entertainment activities will remain closed and dining in at food and beverage outlets will still be disallowed. The government will further ease restriction by the middle of June if the infection rate within the community remains low over the next two weeks.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Marina Bay waterfront in Singapore. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Less than three weeks after Singapore began Phase 1 of reopening after its two-month COVID-19 circuit breaker period on 2 June, it announced that it will move into Phase 2 on Friday (19 June).

In Phase 2, the public can expect the gradual resumption of more activities, businesses and public facilities, subjected to safe management and safe distancing practices. Overseas travel, however, will remain restricted.

As a handy guide to this second reopening phase, here is a list of frequently-asked questions answered (this FAQ will be updated with more information from various agencies):

GENERAL

Question: Do I have to wear a face mask when I’m outside?

Answer: Yes, you must continue to wear a face mask whenever you are outside of your residence. There are some specific instances when you can take off your mask, such as when you are driving inside a vehicle, and when you are engaged in strenuous exercise outdoors (jogging, cycling, brisk walking).

When you are taking public transport, you should also refrain from talking to one another or on your mobile phones, and to maintain good personal hygiene.

Q: Can I eat out at hawker centres and restaurants?

A: Yes, dine-in services at food-and-beverages (F&B) outlets such as restaurants and hawker centres will be resumed.

However, dining is limited to a maximum of five persons per group, and there should not be mingling among different groups.

Measures will be put in place to ensure that each person maintain safe distancing of at least one metre at all times. If this is not possible, the one-metre rule can be enforced between groups.

While you can eat out, please note that sales and consumption of liquor will end at 10.30pm. Also, live music as well as television/video screenings are not allowed at this stage.

SINGAPORE - APRIL 08:  People wearing protective masks queue to buy a takeway food at a hawker centre as dining areas are sealed off with nets as the government implements a take-away only policy to curb the spread of the coronavirus on April 8, 2020 in Singapore. Singapore government started closing non-essential workplaces and schools temporarily for a month from April 7 to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
People wearing protective masks at a hawker centre in Singapore. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

Q: Can I go back to office to work?

A: It depends. If your work can be done via telecommuting (i.e. working from home), then your company should continue to let you do so. You should go back to the office only when it is absolutely necessary, such as to access specialised systems or equipment that cannot be carried out from home, or to complete legal transactions.

Safe management measures must be implemented and enforced at the workplaces, and they will continue to be subject to checks. Employers must continue to ensure that there are no social gatherings between employees, and safe distancing of at least one metre is maintained at all times.

Q: Do all students have to go back to school daily?

A: Not yet. Students from all levels will return to school daily only from 29 June. Institutes of Higher Learning will gradually increase the number of students back on campus for face-to-face learning. Students will continue to return for practical and lab sessions, with no more than 50 students per class. Physical education and co-curricular activities will also be gradually re-introduced.

SOCIAL INTERACTION

Q: Can I meet my friends or visit my relatives’ homes?

A: Yes, you can have social group gatherings of up to five persons. Households may receive up to five visitors at any one time.

Q: Can I do my recreational activities at beaches, sports centres or country clubs?

A: Yes, sports, parks and other public facilities will be open in Phase 2. These include playgrounds, beaches, lawns and fields, stadia, swimming complexes, sports halls, hard-courts, gyms, fitness studios, bowling centres and function rooms.

This applies also to similar facilities in private settings, such as condominiums and country clubs.

Food and beverage, retail, recreation and convenience outlets in gardens, parks and nature reserves will also be reopened, subject to safe management measures.

Sport Singapore has advised a two-metre distancing to be observed wherever possible when one is exercising. Contact sports which do not require extensive body contact can proceed without modification, as long as the group size limit for each sport is observed and safe distancing is maintained outside the play area.

Q: Can I attend community classes?

A: Yes, tuition and other private enrichment classes – with the exception of singing or vocal training classes – are permitted with safe distancing measures in place.

Q: Can I attend mass religious services and congregations?

A: No, these large-scale gatherings are still not allowed for now. You can attend private religious prayers at places of worship.

Q: Can I attend weddings or funeral services?

A: Yes, but there are limits to the size of such services. Wedding solemnisations at home, Registry of Marriages or Registry of Muslim Marriages may take place with up to 10 persons (excluding the solemniser).

At other venues, they may take place with up to 20 persons (excluding the solemniser), subject to the venue’s capacity limit based on safe management principles.

For wakes and funerals, up to 20 persons may be present at any one time.

People, wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, walk past closed retail shops along the Orchard Road shopping belt in Singapore on May 6, 2020. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Retail shops along the Orchard Road shopping belt in Singapore. (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

RETAIL AND SERVICES

Q: Can I buy bubble tea products at my favourite outlet?

A: Yes, bubble tea outlets will be open for business.

Q: Can I dine at buffet restaurants?

A: No, self-service buffets are still suspended in Phase 2. Other suspended retail services include testing and sampling of products, activities and events in stores or mall atriums and play areas for children in retail stores, malls or F&B outlets.

Q: Can I watch a film at a cinema? Can I meet my friends for drinks at our regular pub? Can I bring my family to visit museums or tourist attractions like Universal Studios?

A: No, the following are still not allowed open, because large numbers of people are likely to come into close contact, often in enclosed spaces, and for prolonged periods of time:

  • Large cultural venues such as libraries and museums;

  • Large-scale events and venues, such as conferences, exhibitions, concerts and trade fairs;

  • Entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, as well as indoor and outdoor attractions, paintball centres and billiards/pool halls.

Q: Can I go for foot or body massage? Can I go for my annual health screening check-up?

A: Yes, personal health and wellness services such as massages, spas and beauty centres will be allowed to resume.

All other healthcare services, including eldercare services in the community, individual health screening and aesthetic services, will resume with safe distancing measures in place.

Face-to-face visitations at residential facilities for the elderly (including nursing homes, welfare homes, sheltered homes and adult disability homes) will also resume with precautionary measures in place.

Q: Can I visit showflats or vehicle show rooms?

A: Yes, vehicle show rooms, car test drivers and property viewings are allowed in Phase 2, with safe distancing measures in place.

Q: Can I go to Singapore Pools outlets to bet on sports matches or horse races?

A: No, Singapore Pools branches, authorised retailers, Livewire venues and off-course betting centres will remain closed until further notice. However, online sports betting and horse wagering for overseas races has resumed since the start of the week.

TRAVEL

Q: Can I leave Singapore for overseas trips in Phase 2 of the reopening?

A: Short-term overseas trips are still not allowed at the moment, except for those travellers going to or returning from China under the recently-implemented Fast Lane arrangement. More countries or regions may be included in this arrangement in the future.

While there is no ban on long-term overseas travel, the Ministry of Health has advised Singaporeans to defer all overseas travel until further notice.

Any Singapore resident or long-term pass holder who disregards the advisory and travels overseas must serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) when they return to Singapore. In addition, travellers entering Singapore after 11.59pm on Wednesday (17 June) will have to take a COVID-19 test a few days before the end of the SHN period at a designated community test facility.

A passenger pushes a trolley in the departure hall at Changi International Airport in Singapore on June 8, 2020, as Singapore prepares to reopen its borders after shutting them to curb the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A passenger pushes a trolley in the departure hall at Changi International Airport. (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

Q: Do I have to pay for the SHN accommodation and COVID-19 test?

A: Yes, all travellers either leaving or entering Singapore from 11.59pm on Wednesday will need to pay for their COVID-19 tests, which costs around $200 (inclusive of GST).

In addition, incoming travellers after 11.59pm on Wednesday who are not Singapore residents will have to pay for their stay at the designated SHN facilities. For a 14-day stay, they will have to pay around $2,000.

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