Singapore to Begin Phase 3 of Reopening: Key Features
- Singapore will begin Phase 3 of reopening its economy starting December 28, enabling businesses to accommodate more customers.
- In moving to Phase 3, the government deemed enough people were adhering to the health protocols as well as participating in the national contact tracing program.
- Despite the gradual reopening, strict health protocols still apply, such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
Singapore will begin Phase 3 of reopening its economy from December 28, 2020, allowing more businesses to resume activities, although this will be done in a controlled manner.The country moved to Phase 1 on June 2 of this year whereby businesses mainly in the manufacturing sector could operate again. Phase 2 was implemented June 19 and retail outlets, F&B establishments, and department stores were permitted to open. F&B establishments were also allowed to accommodate dine-in customers, but visitors had to adhere to strict health protocols, such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
Under Phase 3, the capacity limits of premises will be increased as well as group sizes for social gatherings. Moreover, in early 2021, the government will roll-out TraceTogether-only SafeEntry, a contact tracing scheme, which will become mandatory to anyone over the age of seven.
Currently, the system is being trialed at selected sectors where there is a likelihood of close contact among people, such as food courts, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) venues, and cruises.
How Singapore moved to Phase 3
To enter Phase 3, the government had to ensure the country fulfilled three criteria:
- Enough people were adhering to health protocol measures;
- The government was able to conduct sufficient PCR testing for early detection and public health action. The country is now able to conduct over 50,000 tests per day and has one of the world’s highest testing rates per million people; and
- High adoption of the Trace Together program (TT) for effective contact tracing. Around 65 percent of Singapore’s population have downloaded the TT mobile application with the aim of increasing this to 70 percent by the end of 2020.
What activities will be further reopened on December 28?
The government has assessed the following activities that will be further reopened on December 28.
Group sizes for social gatherings and household visitors will be increased from five to eight (excluding members of the hosting household). Vulnerable members of society, like senior citizens, are advised to stay at home as much as possible.
This also applies to marriage solemnizations.
Capacity limits for attraction to increase
Attractions can now apply to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to increase their operating capacity from 50 percent to 65 percent in addition to capacity limits from 10m2 to 8m2 per person in malls and large or standalone retail outlets.
Increased capacity for congregational worship
Places of worship can increase their congregation up to 250 persons, although these should be conducted in zones of 50 persons each.
Places of worship can also have live performance elements, but these should be limited and adopt health measures.
Live indoor music performances to be allowed
Live indoor music performances will be allowed to accommodate up to 250 people in zones of 50 each. Live instrumental music will also be allowed except for wind instruments.
The government is piloting live musical performances in outdoor venues for up to 250 people also in zones of 50 each.