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Enterprise Singapore
29 Jan 2020 Updated 31 Aug 2020

Advisory on COVID-19 for businesses

Date Title
16 June 2020 Advisory for Phase Two re-opening of F&B establishments
16 June 2020 Advisory for Phase Two re-opening of retail establishments and lifestyle-related services
15 June 2020 Moving into Phase Two of re-opening
15 June 2020 Gradual re-opening of travel and changes to border measures
9 June 2020 58 fines issued by ESG and STB in the first week of Phase One post Circuit Breaker
3 June 2020 Joint press statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry on the Singapore-China fast lane for essential travel
19 May 2020 End of Circuit Breaker, phased approach to resuming activities safely
19 May 2020 Advisory on gradual resumption of business activities in phases starting from 2 June 2020
9 May 2020 Safe Management Measures for retail establishments
9 May 2020 Safe Management Measures for food & beverage establishments
9 May 2020 FAQs on Safe Management Measures at the workplace after Circuit Breaker period
9 May 2020 Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the workplace after Circuit Breaker period
9 May 2020 Implementing SafeEntry and Safe Management Practices
6 May 2020 Enterprise Singapore expands E-Commerce Booster Package
6 May 2020 Extension of Stay-Home Notices for work permit and S pass holders in construction sector
6 May 2020 Guidelines for gradual resumption of business operations
2 May 2020 [Updated] Safe distancing measures for retail establishments
2 May 2020 [Updated] Safe distancing measures for food & beverage establishments
2 May 2020 Easing the tighter Circuit Breaker measures, preparing for gradual resumption of activity after 1 June
2 May 2020 Home-based food businesses allowed to resume operations from 12 May 2020
1 May 2020 Extension of Stay-Home Notices for work permit and S pass holders in construction sector
21 April 2020 Tightened list of essential services and measures for workplaces which remain open
21 April 2020 Government to continue support measures to protect livelihoods and stabilise businesses during extended circuit breaker period
21 April 2020 Strong national push to stem spread of COVID-19
20 April 2020 New Facility at interest rate of 0.1% to help banks and finance companies lower cost of loans to SMEs
17 April 2020 Hostel fined for breach of COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act
17 April 2020 More subsidised solutions to support working from home for businesses
17 April 2020 Support for businesses and individuals to defray third party professional cleaning and disinfection costs for premises with confirmed COVID-19 cases
15 April 2020 Ensuring adherence to safe distancing measures amongst food delivery personnel
9 April 2020 Enterprise Singapore expands its Food Delivery Booster Package
9 April 2020 Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board order 85 businesses to cease operations
8 April 2020 ESG and STB conducted over 10000 enforcement checks; 10 businesses instructed to cease operations
7 April 2020 Eight establishments warned for non-compliance with safe distancing measures
7 April 2020 Safe Distancing measures for food & beverage and online retail delivery
5 April 2020 Tightened safe distancing measures for food & beverage establishments, retail establishments, shopping malls and standalone stores
3 April 2020 Circuit Breaker to Minimise Further Spread of COVID-19
3 April 2020 Suspension of Activities at Workplace Premises to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission
3 April 2020 Additional Safe Distancing Measures for the Workplace
25 Mar 2020 MOM Entry Approval and Stay-Home Notice Requirements for Work Pass Holders from Malaysia
25 Mar 2020 Measures to Prevent Congregations of Foreign Workers and Foreign Domestic Workers
25 Mar 2020 Employers Advised To Plan For More Sustainable Housing Options For Their Workers Usually Housed In Malaysia
24 Mar 2020 Tighter measures to Minimise Further Spread of COVID-19
24 Mar 2020 Further Measures to Help Companies Cope with COVID-19 Situation
23 Mar 2020 All Travellers Arriving In Singapore From 27 March 2020, 0900 Hours, Must Submit Health Declaration Via The SG Arrival Card E-Service
22 Mar 2020 Additional Border Control Measures to Reduce Further Importation of COVID-19 Cases
20 Mar 2020 Stricter Safe Distancing Measures to Prevent Further Spread of COVID-19 Cases
20 Mar 2020 Companies Encouraged to Impose Leave of Absence for Employees Returning Between 14 And 20 March 2020
19 Mar 2020 Temporary Housing Support for Employers Affected by Malaysia’s Movement Control Order
18 Mar 2020 MOM Entry Approval and Stay-Home Notices Now Covers All New and Existing Work Pass Holders
18 Mar 2020 Additional Measures for Travellers to Prevent Further Importation of COVID-19 Cases
17 Mar 2020 Help for workers affected by lockdown in Malaysia
17 Mar 2020 Accommodating Workers Affected By Lockdown in Malaysia
16 Mar 2020 Advisory for employers on employees’ non-essential travel in response to updated travel advisory (COVID-19)
15 Mar 2020 Additional Precautionary Measures to Prevent Further Importation of COVID-19 Cases
15 Mar 2020 MOM Entry Approval and Stay-Home Notices Extended to ASEAN Countries, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom
13 Mar 2020 Additional Precautionary Measures to Prevent Further Importation and Spread of COVID-19 Cases
12 Mar 2020 SG Clean Quality Mark Extended to Tourism and Lifestyle Businesses as part of Nationwide Efforts to Uplift Sanitation and Hygiene
11 Mar 2020 Tripartite Partners Update Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment in View of COVID-19
3 Mar 2020 Additional Precautionary Measures in Response to Escalating Global Situation
3 Mar 2020 MOM Entry Approval and Stay-Home Notices Extended to More Countries
25 Feb 2020 Entry Approval Requirement for Employers with Work Pass Holders with Travel History to Daegu City and Cheongdo County
25 Feb 2020 Additional Precautionary Measures in Response to Escalating Situation in Daegu and Cheongdo
23 Feb 2020 Public Health Travel Advisory in Response to Cases of COVID-19 in Republic of Korea
19 Feb 2020 Call for Collaboration (“CFC”) for the Appointment of Assessment Organisations for “SG Clean Programme”
18 Feb 2020 Coping with COVID-19: Economic Measures for Companies and Workers
18 Feb 2020 General Advisory for Employers if a Confirmed or Suspect Case of COVID-19 is Detected at the Workplace
17 Feb 2020 Implementation of New Stay-Home Notice
16 Feb 2020 Press Release: “SG Clean” Campaign Launched to Rally Public and Businesses to Work Together to Keep Singapore Clean
15 Feb 2020 Advisory for Businesses on Large-Scale Events Amidst the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation
7 Feb 2020 New Requirements for Employers Who Have Work Pass Holders With Travel History to Mainland China
Entering or Returning to Singapore
7 Feb 2020 General Advisory for Workplace Measures in Response to DORSCON Orange Situation in Singapore by
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the
Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF)
7 Feb 2020 Risk Assessment Raised to DORSCON Orange

  1. The Government has announced Phase Two will start after 18 June 2020, 2359 hours.
  1. We will continue to work closely together with businesses to identify the new economic opportunities our businesses can target, given the structural shifts from COVID-19.
  1. We advise all businesses to refer to the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) websites for the latest updates.

Approach for Phase Two

  1. Apart from a small list of exceptions, Phase Two will see the resumption of most activities, subject to the following Safe Distancing principles:
    • As a default, measures should be put in place to ensure that individuals maintain Safe Distancing of at least one metre at all times;
    • Where not feasible or practical to apply one metre Safe Distancing between individuals, this one metre requirement can instead be enforced between groups, with each group made up of not more than five persons, and with no mixing between groups. Other relevant Safe Management Measures should also be in place.

Activities to be Resumed in Phase Two

  1. Retail establishments and lifestyle-related businesses may re-open their physical outlets. All such establishments (including malls, supermarkets and standalone stores) must adhere to the measures outlined in this advisory.
  1. Standalone food and beverage (F&B) establishments predominantly selling beverages can resume operations. F&B dine-in will also be allowed to resume, subject to liquor sales and consumption ceasing at 2230 hours. However, live music, radio broadcasts and all forms of television/video screenings, as well as other forms of public entertainment such as dancing, darts or karaoke, are not allowed. All F&B establishments must adhere to the measures outlined in this advisory.
  1. Larger public venues with high human traffic such as malls and large standalone retail outlets will be subject to capacity limits, and operators will be required to prevent crowds or long queues from building up within and in the immediate vicinity of their premises.
  1. Personal health and wellness, and home-based services will also be allowed to resume. Registered clubs and societies will be allowed to operate at their registered premises. Tuition and other private enrichment classes can resume, with the exception of singing or voice training classes.
  1. All other healthcare services, including eldercare services in the community, individual health screening and aesthetic services, may 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) may also resume with precautionary measures in place.
  1. To check if your business may resume, please refer to covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/permittedlist. Businesses permitted in this list do not need to apply for an exemption before resuming operations. However, they must adhere to Safe Management Measures, and submit their manpower details via covid.gobusiness.gov.sg within two weeks of the date of resumption of operations.
  1. In settings run by permitted businesses, such as for F&B dining-in or classes where individuals come together for activities, the one metre Safe Distancing requirement may be waived only if each group is made up of not more than five persons, and is subject to overall Safe Management Measures.
  1. Telecommuting must remain the default for all businesses where feasible. Employees should only come into the office when demonstrably needed.

Activities that Cannot be Resumed in Phase Two

  1. While the vast majority of activities will be allowed to resume at the start of Phase Two, the resumption of a small number of activities will take more time. These are activities or settings where large numbers of people are likely to come into close contact, often in enclosed spaces, and for prolonged periods of time. These include:
    • Religious services and congregations;
    • Large cultural venues such as libraries and museums;
    • Large-scale events and venues, such as conferences, exhibitions, concerts and trade fairs; and
    • Entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, as well as indoor and outdoor attractions.

Mandatory Safe Management Measures

  1. All businesses must put in place Safe Management Measures before resuming workplace activities, in order to provide a safe working environment and prevent transmission at the workplace. These measures include:
    • Implementing a system of Safe Management Measures at workplaces;
    • Reducing physical interaction and ensuring Safe Distancing at workplaces;
    • Supporting contact tracing requirements;
    • Requiring employees to wear personal protective equipment where needed, and observe good personal hygiene;
    • Ensuring cleanliness of workplace premises;
    • Implementing health checks and protocols to manage potential cases.
  1. All businesses must comply with the general requirements for Safe Management Measures, and any sector-specific requirements which apply to them. Strict checks will be conducted, and businesses that do not provide a safe workplace for workers will have their operations suspended until they are able to do.
  1. For Frequently Asked Questions regarding Safe Management Measures at the workplace after the Circuit Breaker period, please click here.
  1. Those who wish to report breaches or poor practices can do so via SnapSAFE – an app that allows the reporting of workplace safety and health issues to MOM.

Safe Management Measures for Business Establishments

  1. Enterprise Singapore has also released sector-specific Safe Management Measures, which include Safe Distancing Measures, for the following:
  1. All establishments must comply with these Safe Management Measures. Government agencies will be stepping up enforcement of these measures.

Implementation of SafeEntry

  1. To further support contact tracing efforts, SafeEntry must be deployed extensively across Singapore, especially at places with a higher risk of non-transient contact. This includes workplaces, malls and supermarkets.
  1. Businesses and services that are in operation must come on board SafeEntry to log the check-in of employees and visitors.
  1. Contact data collected by SafeEntry is only used by authorised personnel for contact tracing purposes, and stringent measures are in place to safeguard the data in accordance with the Government’s data security standards.

Guidelines for Employers with Affected Workers

  1. Employers should work out clear salary and leave arrangements with employees who cannot work from home or at their workplace premises, based on the principle of shared responsibility. Such arrangements should take into consideration the Government support for wages and any subsidies for training.

Business Continuity Plans

  1. All workplaces should update their business continuity plans (BCP), and stay prepared for trend of increasing community transmission. As the situation is evolving rapidly around the world, we encourage all companies to have their BCP in place.
  1. Enterprise Singapore (ESG), supported by the Singapore Business Federation, has enhanced the Business Continuity Guide for Enterprises to support you in developing your plans to deal with COVID-19.

Travel Advisory

  1. Please review work-related travel plans and defer all travel abroad, with immediate effect. We encourage firms to explore alternative ways of business communications.
  1. Please remind your employees to defer all travel plans to all countries, and obtain a travel declaration from them.
  1. If an employee still proceeds to travel overseas, you may require the employee to use his/her own annual leave entitlements to cover the duration of the mandatory Stay-Home Notice (SHN), or any extended period of travel in the destination country. If the employee does not have sufficient annual leave entitlements, you may allow the employee to consume advance leave or put the employee on no-pay leave.

Travel Restrictions

  1. The summary list of countries/regions and border control measures is as follows:
Travel History in Countries/Regions For Singapore Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders For Short-Term Visitors
All countries/regions

With effect from 23 March 2020, 2359 hours
14-day SHN

MOM will only allow the entry/return of work pass holders
(and their dependents) who are providing essential services
such as healthcare and transport.

Work pass holders (including dependents) entering Singapore
from Malaysia – regardless of the mode of travel – must
obtain MOM’s approval before commencing their journey.
Not allowed entry or transit
except for those under
Green / Fast Lane arrangements

  1. More details on Singapore’s measures for inbound travellers in relation to COVID-19 can be found here.
  1. From 27 March 2020, 0900 hours, all travellers arriving in Singapore, including residents (Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents) and Long-Term Pass holders (Student’s Pass, Dependent’s Pass, Work Pass and Long-Term Visit Pass Holders), must submit a health declaration before proceeding with immigration clearance. They will have to do so via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service.
  1. From 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, all travellers entering Singapore will be subject to a testing regime. It is an additional precautionary measure to detect the virus, especially given the risks of asymptomatic cases. More details on this can be found here.
  1. All inbound and outbound travellers who enter Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, and leave Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, respectively, will be required to pay for their COVID-19 tests, where applicable. In addition, incoming travellers who are not Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, who enter Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359 hours, will be required to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities, where applicable. More details on this can be found here.

Visas and Work Passes

  1. From 23 March 2020, 2359 hours, all short-term visitors (from anywhere in the world) will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. More details can be found here.
  1. However, essential business and official travel will be permitted under Green / Fast Lane arrangements such as the Singapore-China Fast Lane for Essential Travel.
  1. The MOM will only allow the entry/return of work pass holders, including their dependents, for those providing essential services, such as in healthcare and transport.
  1. Such workers planning to enter/return to Singapore from any country are to obtain MOM’s approval before commencing their journey. This includes those planning to enter Singapore from Malaysia, regardless of the mode of travel. The entry approval requirement applies to:
    • Existing work pass holders currently out of Singapore; and
    • In-Principle Approval holders who have yet to enter Singapore.
  1. When applying for entry approval, you must:
    • Declare that you have arranged for suitable premises to house affected employees as they will be placed on a mandatory 14-day SHN upon their arrival in Singapore.
    • Request for MOM’s approval before your employees can enter Singapore. You will need to send the MOM approval letter to the employee, who will need to show it to airline staff upon check-in and at the ICA checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore.
  1. Please note the following:
For new or existing Who needs to request for approval? Who is responsible to ensure SHN is observed?
Work pass holders, including those with Letter of Consent Employer Employer and work pass holder
Dependent’s Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass holders who are not employed
i.e. not issued a work pass, including Letter of Consent
Local sponsor
i.e. employer of Employment Pass or S Pass holder
Holders of Employment Pass, S Pass, Dependent’s Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass

Additional Measures for Returning Employees

  1. MOM is providing support for those affected by SHN requirements due to COVID-19. Please refer to this link for full details on the eligibility criteria and application process.
  1. Employees who are served a Quarantine Order will be deemed to be on paid sick leave. The period of absence from work will be treated as paid hospitalisation leave, as part of the employees’ hospitalisation leave eligibility under their employment contracts, collective agreements or as per the Employment Act.
  1. MOH is providing support to those affected by the Quarantine Order due to COVID-19. Please refer to link for details on the eligibility criteria of the Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) Scheme.

Precautionary Measures for General Employees

  1. Please remind all employees who are unwell, even with mild flu-like symptoms, should see a doctor immediately. They should not go out into the public for any other purpose, and should not come into close contact with others.
  1. Please advise all employees (except for those allowed to commute for work) to remain largely within their place of residence. They can still go out to buy meals or daily necessities, procure essential services or for urgent medical needs, but should otherwise minimise the time they spend outside. They should avoid interactions with anyone other than immediate family members living in the same household.
  1. If you employ foreign workers who live in foreign worker dormitories, please refer to this advisory and ensure the relevant Safe Management Measures are adhered to.
  1. Should you become aware that someone at your workplace is a confirmed or suspect case of COVID-19, you are advised to adopt these measures set out by MOM.
  1. You should also carry out a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of that section of the workplace premises exposed to confirmed case(s). Please refer to the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) guidelines for more details. You may apply for the Specialised Cleaning Programme to defray part of the cleaning and disinfection costs.

Precautionary Measures for Specific Sectors

  1. The MOH has compiled a list of advisories for companies and employees in specific sectors. Please refer to the list here.

Regulations under the Infectious Disease Act

  1. The MOH will be promulgating Regulations under the Infectious Diseases Act to give legal force to the Safe Distancing Measures, as well as to provide enhanced penalties for breaches of the SHN. The penalty for an offence under the Regulations, including any SHN breach, would be a fine of less than $10,000 or imprisonment of less than six months or both. In addition, existing levers under the Infectious Diseases Act, including the temporary suspension of operations, may be used against persons and operators found to be non-compliant with the Regulations.

Support for Businesses

  1. The Government has introduced various support measures across different Budgets in response to COVID-19 to help companies and workers weather near-term uncertainties. The relevant measures are outlined as follows:
  1. ESG, together with other Government agencies, has launched new initiatives and enhanced existing programmes to provide more support more businesses. For more information, please click here.
  1. The Ministry of Law has introduced the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill to provide temporary and targeted protection for businesses and individuals who are unable to fulfil certain contractual obligations because of COVID-19.
  1. As businesses seek to adjust to the changing operating environment, we strongly encourage employers to take a long-term view of their manpower needs. When managing excess manpower, retrenchment should always be the last resort, after other options have been considered and found to be unworkable. For appropriate measures to manage excess manpower, you may refer to the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment.
  1. If you have 10 or more employees and have implemented any cost-saving measures that affects your employees’ monthly salaries (including bonuses and increments) during this period, you are required to notify MOM through this online form – within 1 week after implementation. This temporary requirement is in place to encourage responsible implementation of such measures, prevent downstream salary disputes, and allow MOM to monitor the scope and scale of such measures. For more details, please refer to the MOM website.
  1. The Government will continue to work together with tripartite partners to restructure our economy, build new enterprise capabilities, and upskill our workers for the future.

You can also find the downloadable version of the advisory here.

This advisory is based on information updated as of 16 June 2020.