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Enterprise Singapore
29 Jan 2020 Updated 25 Mar 2021

Advisory on COVID-19 for businesses

Date Title
8 Jan 2021 Advisory for Phase Three re-opening of food & beverage establishments
8 Jan 2021 Advisory for Phase Three re-opening of retail establishments and lifestyle-related services
14 Dec 2020 Moving into Phase Three of re-opening
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

The Government has announced Phase Three will start from 28 December 2020.

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.

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.

Business Activities in Phase Three

To provide a safe environment for customers and workers, all businesses must continue to implement Safe Management Measures as required by the MOM and comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations.

Larger public venues with high human traffic, such as malls and large standalone retail outlets, will continue to 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.

In Phase Three, some businesses may not be allowed to resume physical operations. To check if your business is allowed to operate, please refer to covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/permittedlist.

In settings run by permitted businesses, such as for F&B dining-in or classes where individuals come together for activities, each group must be limited to eight or fewer persons, with at least one-metre spacing between groups. All activities remain subject to overall Safe Management Measures.

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.

We have also released Safe Management Measures, which include Safe Distancing Measures, for the following sectors. If your business is among the following, please refer to the respective links for the relevant guidelines:

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.

Shifting from working-from-home as a default to a more flexible and hybrid way of working

The Government has reviewed the Safe Management Measures at workplaces to allow greater flexibility for businesses and employees, while limiting the risks of COVID-19 transmission. The following updated requirements will take effect from 5 April 2021:

  • More employees may return to the workplace to better support in-person collaboration and business operations. Up to 75% of the employees (who are presently able to work from home) can now be at the workplace at any one time, up from the current 50%;
  • The current cap on the time an employee spends at the workplace will also be lifted;
  • Split team arrangements are no longer mandatory, although companies may continue to adopt such arrangements for business continuity purposes if they so choose;
  • Restrictions against cross-deployment across workplaces remain in place.

Businesses are encouraged to support as many employees in working from home as possible. Companies should continue to stagger start times and implement flexible working hours where possible.

We urge all companies to remain vigilant as more employees return to the workplace. Employers must continue to implement the prevailing Safe Management Measures.

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.

We, supported by the Singapore Business Federation, have also 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 the exception of short-term essential business and official travel between selected counterpart countries/regions and Singapore under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL). More details on the RGL can be found here.

You may also find more details on relevant travel advisories/restrictions on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) website.

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 ensure they fulfil the relevant requirements by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). More details on this can be found here.

All travellers departing Singapore are advised to check the MFA website for the latest travel advisories to other countries/regions, and check with the immigration authority or embassy of the destination country/region on the relevant health requirements imposed on travellers from Singapore. More details on this can be found here.

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.

If you employ foreign workers who live in foreign worker dormitories, please ensure the relevant Safe Management Measures are adhered to. You may refer to this list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) by the MOM for more information.

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.

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 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:

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.

The Ministry of Law has introduced the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 to offer relief to businesses and individuals who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please click here.

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.

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 25 March 2021.