Enterprise Singapore 29 Jan 2020 Updated 20 May 2020 Advisory on COVID-19 for businesses Share: IMPORTANT MOH: End of Circuit Breaker, phased approach to resuming activities safely MTI: Advisory on gradual resumption of business activities in phases starting from 2 June 2020 MTI: Frequently asked questions on temporary suspension of activities at workplace premises Safe Management Measures COVID-19 business support measures Business support packages offered by Governments in overseas markets Guide on business continuity planning for COVID-19 - 3rd edition 应对2019冠状病毒疾病 (COVID-19) 的业务持续计划指南 - 第三版 Date Title 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 The Government has announced Circuit Breaker measures will be gradually eased from 2 June 2020, and businesses will be allowed to resume activities in a phased manner. We will work closely together with businesses to identify the new economic opportunities our businesses can target, given the structural shifts from COVID-19. 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. Gradual Resumption of Activities and Services Besides the businesses that have been operating as at 1 June 2020, firms that operate in settings with lower transmission risks may resume activities. These firms include: Most manufacturing and production facilities such as those in the semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, precision engineering, and energy & chemicals sectors; Most businesses with employees working in offices or settings that do not require interactions with large groups of people, such as those in finance & insurance, wholesale trade, health & social services, IT & info services, professional services as well as logistics and storage. Additional consumer services will also be permitted to resume – these include motor vehicle servicing, aircon servicing and basic pet services. Hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to offer all hairdressing services, beyond the basic haircut services. To support the re-opening of schools, school bookshops and retail shops selling school uniforms can also resume activities. With the exception of those that have already been given approval to operate, all retail outlets have to remain closed until further notice. The list of businesses (accurate as of 19 May 2020) that may operate from 2 June 2020 can be found in Annex A of this MTI advisory. To check if your business may resume, please refer to covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/permittedlist. Businesses permitted to resume do not need to apply for an exemption before resuming operations. However, they must submit their manpower details via covid.gobusiness.gov.sg within two weeks of the date of resumption of operations. Telecommuting should be adopted to the maximum extent. Those who have been working from home so far should continue to do so. Employees should only come into the office when demonstrably needed. Businesses should continue to act in a responsible manner, and not plan or organise events that could draw large numbers of employees or customers, such as “welcome back” sales and parties. The scheduled resumption of business activities from 2 June is ultimately dependent on the health situation. Should community transmission rise, the Government will re-evaluate the timeline and the businesses that can resume operations from 2 June 2020. Mandatory Safe Management Measures 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. 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. For Frequently Asked Questions regarding Safe Management Measures at the workplace after the Circuit Breaker period, please click here. 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 Enterprise Singapore has also released sector-specific Safe Management Measures, which include Safe Distancing Measures, for the following: F&B establishments Retail establishments (including retail outlets in shophouses and malls, supermarkets and department stores) Shopping malls and standalone stores F&B and online retail delivery All establishments must comply with these Safe Management Measures. Government agencies will be stepping up enforcement of these measures. Implementation of SafeEntry 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. Businesses and services that are in operation must come on board SafeEntry to log the check-in of employees and visitors. As a start, deployment will be made mandatory for places where individuals are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods or in enclosed spaces, or where there is higher traffic. The list of facilities/places where SafeEntry must be deployed from 12 May 2020 can be found here, and will be updated as more activities and services resume. 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 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. Circuit Breaker Measures On 21 April 2020, the Government announced it is extending the Circuit Breaker period by another four weeks until 1 June 2020 (inclusive), and will provide the same level of support to workers and businesses during the extended period. Please refer to the Ministry of Finance’s media release for more details. To reduce the risk of further local transmission of COVID-19, all business, social, or other activities that cannot be conducted through telecommuting from home will be suspended from 7 April 2020 to 1 June 2020 (inclusive). Essential services and their related supply chains are exempted from the suspension. The list of activities that will continue to operate can be found here. Entities that are able to continue to operate their businesses (in limited or full capacity) with their employees working from home should continue to do so. All business, social, or other activities that cannot be conducted through telecommuting from home will be suspended. Businesses Providing Essential Services during Circuit Breaker Period Businesses providing Essential Services will need to operate with the minimum staff needed on their premises to ensure the continued running of those services, and put in place the necessary Safe Management Measures. With the extension of the Circuit Breaker period until 1 June 2020 (inclusive), businesses which had earlier received approvals by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to operate during the original Circuit Breaker period from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020 can continue doing so until 1 June 2020. MTI will notify those businesses that have to suspend operations. If you wish to find out more on the suspension of activities, please contact us at go.gov.sg/sdenquiries or contact the call centre at 6898 1800. Business Continuity Plans 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. 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 Please review work-related travel plans and defer all travel abroad, with immediate effect. We encourage firms to explore alternative ways of business communications. Please remind your employees to defer all travel plans to all countries, and obtain a travel declaration from them. 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. Any work pass holder or his/her dependant who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020 will be deprioritised for entry approval and could see significant delays before they are allowed to return to Singapore if they persist in travelling abroad and return infected. Travel Restrictions 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 Hubei province (China) 14-day quarantine Not allowed entry or transit All other 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 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. Visas and Work Passes 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. 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. 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. 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. Please note the following: If your employees wish to bring their dependents who are not employed in Singapore, please advise them to seek prior approval from MOM. Use MOM’s entry approval calculator to plan when to submit your request. 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 MOM is providing support for those affected by SHN requirements due to COVID-19. Under the LOA/SHN Support Programme, eligible employers will be able to apply for $100 per affected worker for the required duration of SHN or company-imposed LOA. Please refer to this link for full details on the eligibility criteria and application process. 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. 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 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. 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. Please advise all foreign workers living in foreign worker dormitories to stay within the premises. The restriction on daily movement of workers in and out of all dormitories will be extended to 1 June 2020 (inclusive). Please note workers living in the dormitories who had earlier been allowed to commute to work will no longer be allowed to do so. 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. 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 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 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 The Government has introduced measures at Budget 2020 to help companies and workers weather near-term uncertainties. The Government has also introduced a supplementary Budget to provide additional support measures for workers and businesses in response to COVID-19. Added support for businesses was announced on 6 April 2020, on top of what was provided in the earlier Budgets. 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. MOM has introduced further measures to help businesses cope during this period. Firms with excess manpower are encouraged to give consent for their existing foreign workers to be transferred to other employers facing manpower shortages. 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. 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. 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. 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 19 May 2020.