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Media Releases
09 May 2020 Updated 20 May 2020

[Updated] Safe Management Measures for Retail Establishments

MR No.: 036/20


[Updated] Safe Management Measures for Retail Establishments 

  1. With the gradual decline in the number of local cases, the Government is putting in place plans for the gradual and selective resumption of economic activities. To prevent the re-emergence of community cases, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced on 9 May 2020 that workplaces should begin to put in place Safe Management Measures ahead of time.
  2. In line with the latest advisory on Safe Management Measures at the workplace, Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Housing & Development Board (HDB), the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) are providing operational guidance on the permissible activities and Safe Management Measures for retail establishments. All retail establishments – including malls, supermarkets and standalone stores (e.g. IKEA, Decathlon) – must comply with these latest measures. The information in this advisory supersedes that in previous advisories or statements.
  3. Resumption of specific retail operations

  4. With effect from 2 June, the following retail activities can resume onsite operations:  
  5. 3.1. All hairdressing services.

    3.2. School bookshops and retail shops selling school uniforms.

    3.3. Basic grooming, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for pets.

  6. Refer to Annex for the updated types of retail establishments that can operate. The full list of activities that can resume operations can be found at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/permittedlist.
  7. Continued suspension of non-essential retail activities, except online retail

  8. Operations of other non-essential retail services will remain suspended. Online retail and delivery may continue, only if these businesses comply with the following guidelines:
  9. 5.1. Retail storefronts must not be open to customers. Such establishments must clearly indicate that the store is closed for business.

    5.2. Retail premises may be accessed by employees only when it is necessary to fulfil delivery of online orders.

    5.3. Retail establishments must limit the number of employees within their premises (e.g. warehouses, stores) to the minimum required for order fulfilment. No other activities should take place within the premises.

    5.4. Customers are not allowed to collect merchandise from retail stores. Fulfilment of online orders should be through delivery only (e.g. third party logistics providers, SingPost, POPStations).

    5.5. Collection and delivery are spaced out and contactless.

    5.6. Delivery personnel must observe at least one-metre spacing at all times and must not cluster together.

  10. Retail establishments can refer to the Advisory for Delivery Businesses for guidelines on the delivery requirements.


  11. Safe distancing measures – Customer-facing operations

  12. All retail establishments’ customer-facing operations must adhere to the following measures on contact tracing, safe distancing and cleanliness:
  13. Support contact tracing requirements

    7.1. For a start, deployment of SafeEntry1 will be mandatory for malls, supermarkets and barbers/hairdressers from 12 May onwards, as these are currently high-traffic venues, or places where customers are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods of time or in enclosed spaces. The use of SafeEntry will facilitate the efficient collection of visitor information so that contact tracing can be done in a timely manner when needed. All other retail stores are strongly encouraged to deploy the SafeEntry system where possible2.

    Implement health checks and protocol

    7.2. All malls, standalone stores and supermarkets must conduct temperature screening at entrances to detect customers with fever3. All other retail stores located outside malls are also encouraged to conduct temperature screening where possible4.

    Reduce physical interaction and ensure safe distancing

    7.3. Use floor markers to clearly demarcate queue lines for customers at entrances, cashier counters, fitting rooms or where required.

    7.4. Ensure at least one-metre spacing between customers at all times, and limit the number of customers within the store to allow for the one-metre spacing.

    7.5. Encourage the use of self-checkouts, cashless or contactless payment, to reduce contact between employees and customers.

    7.6. In addition to the above, supermarkets are encouraged to:

    7.6.1. Provide dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, persons with disabilities and pregnant women.

    7.6.2. Use mall atriums or outdoor areas for temporary sale of goods to disperse crowds from their stores.

    7.6.3. Remind customers to limit entry to one member per family when shopping at their stores, where practicable.

    Require personal protective equipment

    7.7. Ensure that all customers, delivery personnel and other on-site personnel put on their masks properly at all times5.

    Ensure cleanliness and hygiene

    7.8. Place hand sanitisers in close proximity to high touch surfaces like door handles so that customers can sanitise their hands after touching these surfaces.

    7.9. Ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of common spaces and items.

    7.9.1. Counters where customers are served and items such as shopping trolleys/baskets where there is high human contact. Supermarkets and other outlets with shopping trolleys and baskets are encouraged to also provide disinfectant wipes where the trolleys and baskets are located so that customers can clean the handles before use.

    7.9.2. Toilets and bins which are accessed by the public.

    7.9.3. Interactive components within the establishment (e.g. self-checkout kiosks), where applicable.

    7.10. Remove product testers and samples that require customer contact, e.g. electronics, cosmetics and food samples.

    Ensure clear communications

    7.11. Put up simple signage and train service personnel to provide clear communication to customers on safe distancing measures.

    Safe Management Measures – Workplace premises

  14. Retail establishments must also put in place a system to implement Safe Management Measures to provide a safe working environment for employees and minimise risks of further outbreaks.


  15. Implement a system of Safe Management Measures at workplaces

    8.1. Implement a detailed monitoring plan to ensure compliance with Safe Management Measures and that issues (e.g. remedy of non-compliance, risk mitigation) are resolved in a timely manner.

    8.2. Appoint Safe Management Officer(s) (SMO) to assist in the implementation, coordination and monitoring of the system of Safe Management Measures at the workplace. For unionised companies, union leaders or Workplace Safety and Health officers could be appointed as SMOs. The duties of the Officer(s) include:

    8.2.1. Coordinating the implementation of Safe Management Measures: This includes identifying relevant risks, recommending and assisting in implementing measures to mitigate the risks, and communicating the measures to all personnel of the workplace.

    8.2.2. Conducting inspections and checks: Officer(s) must conduct inspections and checks to ensure compliance at all times. Any non-compliance found during the inspections should be reported and documented.

    8.2.3. Remedying non-compliance: Immediate action should be taken to remedy any non-compliance found during the inspections and checks.

    8.2.4. Keeping records of inspections and checks: Records of the inspections and checks conducted and corrective actions taken must be kept and made available upon request by a Government Inspector.

    Reduce physical interaction and ensure safe distancing at workplaces

    8.3. Stagger working and break hours: Employers must implement staggered working and break hours to reduce possible congregation of employees at all common spaces.

    8.3.1. The staggered working hours must be implemented over at least three 1-hourly blocks, with not more than half of the employees reporting to work within each 1-hour block. For example, if the normal working hours are from 9am to 6pm, employers could stagger employees’ reporting time at one-hour intervals between 7.30am and 10.30am (e.g. 7.30am to 8.30 am, 8.30am to 9.30am and 9.30am to 10.30am), with corresponding staggered time for end of work. Timing of lunch and other breaks must also be staggered.

    8.3.2. Where possible, reporting and ending time should not coincide with peak-hour travel, especially if employees require the use of public transport.

    8.3.3. If it is not feasible to implement staggered working and break hours due to operational reasons, employers must implement other systems to reduce congregation of employees at common spaces (e.g. arrange for different groups of employees to arrive/depart through different entrances/exits).

    8.3.4. Employees may consume their meals at the establishment itself, but employers must:

    a. Designate and clearly demarcate a dining area for employees only.

    b. Stagger meal times.

    c. Employees should dine alone and keep a distance of at least one metre from another individual.

    d. Employees should dine quickly and leave the designated dining area in a clean state after they have had their meals.

    8.4. Implement shift or split team arrangements: Employers must split employees at workplace premises into teams, with each team restricted to one worksite, where applicable. No employee should work in more than one team or worksite.

    8.4.1. There must be no cross-deployment or interaction between employees in different shifts, teams or worksites, even outside of work. Employers will need to ensure clear separation of employees on different shifts or split teams, such as implementing human traffic management measures and stepping up cleaning of common areas during shift or split team changeovers.

    8.4.2. If cross-deployment cannot be avoided (e.g. due to the nature of the job), additional safeguards must be taken to minimise the risk of cross infection (e.g. minimise the number of premises that workers are cross-deployed to, put in place systems to ensure no direct contact with the cross-deployed personnel).

    8.5. In the situation where physical interaction is required in the workplace, precautions should be taken to ensure clear physical spacing of at least one metre between all personnel at all times.

    8.5.1. This must also be applied to common spaces, including but not limited to entrances/exits, lifts, pantries/canteens, meeting room areas and vehicles/company transport where congregation or queuing of employees or visitors/clients might occur, where reasonably practicable.

    8.5.1. Employers who are service buyers should also require their suppliers/contractors to implement similar safe distancing measures, so that operations and business interactions with these suppliers/contractors are kept safe. Where physical interactions are still necessary, e.g. delivery of goods, employers must adopt precautionary measures such as scheduling delivery times by different suppliers in a staggered manner. The durations of such transactions should be kept as short as possible.

    Avoid socialising with colleagues

    8.6. All social gatherings (e.g. birthday celebrations, team bonding activities, etc.) at the workplace must be cancelled or deferred.

    8.7. Employers must ensure that employees do not socialise or congregate in groups at the workplace (e.g. at common spaces such as staff canteens, pantries, water coolers/vending machines, smoking corners, etc), including during meals or breaks.

    8.8. Employers should not organise social gatherings outside the workplace and should also remind their employees not to socialise outside of the workplace, both during or outside working hours (e.g. going out together for lunch, dinner, breaks or drinks), including with colleagues from separate teams/shifts/worksites.

    Support contact tracing requirements

    8.9. Record proximity data on phones: To help MOH quickly identify potential close contacts of COVID-19 patients to reduce disease transmission, employers should encourage all employees to download and activate the TraceTogether app. Data recorded by TraceTogether is stored on the user’s phone, and is only uploaded when required by MOH, e.g. when the user is suspected to have COVID-19.

    8.10. Control access at the workplace: Employers must limit access to the workplace to only essential employees and authorised visitors (e.g. suppliers and contractors). The SafeEntry visitor management system must be used to record the entry of all personnel (including employees and visitors) entering the workplace. Personnel who are unwell will be refused entry to the workplace.

    Require personal protective equipment and observe good personal hygiene

    8.11. Wearing of masks at the workplace: Employers must ensure that all on-site personnel, including employees, suppliers and contractors, wear a mask properly and other necessary personal protective equipment6 properly at all times at the workplace, except during activities that require masks to be removed7. Employers must ensure that they have sufficient masks for all employees, factoring in the need to replace masks due to workplace conditions (e.g. humidity). Where possible, employers should consider improving the working environment for employees to enable them to sustain the wearing of masks.

    8.12. Observing good personal hygiene: Employers should encourage their employees to observe good personal hygiene, e.g. wash their hands regularly and refrain from touching their faces.

    Ensure cleanliness of workplace premises

    8.13. Step up cleaning of workplace premises: Employers must ensure that machinery and equipment shared between employees across different shifts or alternate teams are cleaned and disinfected before changing hands. The sanitation and hygiene advisories8 disseminated by the National Environmental Agency (NEA) must be adhered to.

    8.14. Provision of cleaning and disinfecting agents at the following areas:

    8.14.1. Cleaning agents (e.g. hand soap, toilet paper) must be available at all toilets and hand-wash stations.

    8.14.2. Provide hand sanitisers to frontline personnel who handle cash and other devices, and are unable to wash their hands frequently with soap and water.

    Implement health checks and protocols to manage potential cases

    8.15. Conduct regular temperature screening and declarations for all on-site employees and visitors: All employers must require employees and visitors to conduct regular temperature screening; and check for respiratory symptoms for all employees twice daily, and visitors where relevant. Employees must submit the following declarations daily, while visitors must do so before being allowed to enter premises:

    8.15.1. Travel history;

    8.15.2. That they have not received a quarantine or isolation order, Stay-home notice, or issued medical certificates for respiratory symptoms; and

    8.15.3. That they are not a close contact of confirmed cases.

    8.16. Employers must keep declaration records for all personnel (employees and visitors) for at least 28 days for inspection purposes.

    8.17. Adherence to travel advisories: Employers should ensure that their employees adhere to MOH’s prevailing travel advisory.

    8.18. Ensure employees do not clinic-hop: Where possible, employers must ensure that an employee visits only one clinic for check-ups if unwell. Otherwise, employees must inform the clinic of all recent doctor visits over past 14 days for any symptoms that may be related to COVID-19 (including but not limited to typical symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath).

    8.18.1. Employees at the workplace who have visited a clinic must submit to their employers records of their MCs and diagnoses provided (only for COVID-19-related symptoms, including acute respiratory infections), and test result, if they were tested for COVID-19.

    8.18.2. Preventive action must be taken to guard against incipient outbreaks at the workplace, such as requiring employees on MC to closely monitor their health before returning to the workplace and requiring these employees’ close contacts at the workplace to monitor their health more regularly.

    8.19. Management of unwell cases: An evacuation plan must be prepared for unwell or suspect cases, as well as for other onsite personnel.

    8.19.1. For any employee who is feeling unwell or showing symptoms of illness should report to his employer, leave the workplace and consult a doctor immediately, even if symptoms may appear mild. Employers must track and record these cases as part of safe management measures.

    8.19.2. For incapacitated or unconscious individuals, employers must clear the area of other personnel and administer aid immediately. Employers should call 995 for an emergency ambulance to ferry them to the nearest hospital.

    8.20. Management of confirmed cases: A follow-up plan must be put in place in the event of a confirmed case. Upon being notified of a confirmed case, employers must adopt the following precautionary measures:

    8.20.1. Immediately vacate and cordon-off the section of the workplace premises where the confirmed case worked. There is no need to vacate the building or the whole floor if there had been no sustained and close contact with the confirmed case; and

    8.20.2. Carry out thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all relevant on-site areas and assets that were exposed to the confirmed case, in accordance to NEA guidelines.

    8.21. For worksites with confirmed cases, businesses could be suspended if there are public health grounds to do so.

    Enforcement of measures

  16. Employers, employees and customers must exercise social responsibility by observing good personal hygiene and monitoring their health condition.


  17. Government agencies will be stepping up enforcement of these safe distancing measures. Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act passed in Parliament on 7 April 2020, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Subsequent offences may face a fine of up to S$20,000, imprisonment of up to twelve months, or both.
  18. Businesses that do not implement or comply with the government’s safe distancing advisories may also be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance.


1 For more information on SafeEntry, please go to https://www.safeentry.gov.sg/deployment Note that SafeEntry can be done via QR code/NRIC scanning, or manual entry of NRIC number & particulars through a dedicated device. Businesses should not decline entry to visitors unless the individual is unable to perform contact tracing on SafeEntry QR or SafeEntry NRIC application and is unable to provide particulars to assist with manual entry.

2 Retail outlets where customers are unlikely to be in close proximity for a prolonged period of time, such as pharmacies, convenience stores and heartland provision shops, are encouraged, but not mandated, to implement SafeEntry. These retail outlets must still adhere strictly to safe distancing measures.

3 Supermarkets in malls need not take the temperature of customers if the mall is already doing so. They should however do so, if they operate for longer hours than the mall.

4 Retail outlets such as pharmacies, convenience stores and heartland provision shops which may face operational challenges in temperature screening need not do so.

5 Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, every individual must wear a mask over the individual’s nose and mouth at all times when the individual is not in his or her ordinary place of residence.

6 Masks for general office workplaces; for other workplace settings, please refer to sector-specific guidelines.

7 The requirement for masks to be worn can be waived when carrying out, in the course of employment, an activity that requires that no mask may be worn, or that it must be removed in order that other equipment may be worn or used, to carry out that activity, or when riding a motorcycle in the course of employment or otherwise.

8 https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/public-cleanliness/environmental-cleaning-guidelines

Annex – List of updated activities that can operate

Enterprise Singapore
Housing & Development Board
Singapore Tourism Board
Urban Redevelopment Authority

Updated as of 20 May 2020