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CIRCULAR FOR HOTELS IN PHASE 3

1.    The Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced on 14 December 2020 that Singapore will start Phase Three of re-opening from 28 December 2020, which will allow for further re-opening of activities in the community.

2.    The Multi-Ministry Taskforce had outlined three pre-conditions for moving into Phase Three, which each of us has contributed to in the past few months: 

2.1.  Adherence to safe management measures. Most businesses and members of the public have been cooperating with safe management measures, and these efforts have helped keep community transmission low.

2.2.  Sufficient testing capabilities for early detection and public health action. We have ramped up Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test capacity significantly to be able to run over 50,000 tests a day. We have also introduced antigen rapid tests for larger and higher-risk events.

2.3.  High adoption of TraceTogether for quick and effective contact tracing. As at 13 December, around 65% of Singapore residents are on the TraceTogether Programme, and we are on track to reaching the target of around 70% by the end of the year.

3.    In Phase 3, Singapore needs to continue to remain united and disciplined in our fight against COVID-19. This includes the hotel[1] industry. The information in this circular (which includes its annexes) supersedes that in previous advisories or statements.

 

A.   Implementation of Safe Management Measures

4.    Operators of hotels are permitted enterprises allowed to open their premises to carry on the business of providing accommodation. The Singapore Tourism Board (“STB”), Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”), Enterprise Singapore (“ESG”), and Ministry of Health (“MOH”) have drawn up SMMs and certain restrictions specifically for hotels. As updated, they are:

4.1.        Hotels must comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020[2] and, where applicable, the COVID‑19 (Temporary Measures) (Performances and Other Activities — Control Order) Regulations 2020[3] (collectively “Control Order”) as well as the SMMs found in Annex A.

4.2.        Hotels must not carry on business as Stay-Home-Notice Dedicated Facilities (“SDFs”), Government Quarantine Facilities (“GQFs”), and Swab Isolation Facilities (“SIFs”)[4] without contracting with the Government.

4.3.        Hotels must not allocate accommodation (e.g. accept bookings) to individuals for the purposes of leisure[5]  (i.e. provide leisure bookings) without the prior written permission of MTI.

5.    Since 19 June 2020, hotels may resume operations for certain facilities on their premises, subject to compliance with Sector Specific Requirements[6] in addition to the Control Order. These are summarised below:

5.1.        Dine-in facilities must comply with the prevailing multi-agency Sector Specific Requirements for F&B establishments.

5.2.        Gyms and pools must comply with the prevailing Sector Specific Requirements by Sport Singapore’s (“Sports SG”) for sports facilities.

5.3.        Spas and wellness must comply with the prevailing Sector Specific Requirements for massage establishments and by ESG for retail establishments.

5.4.        Kids’ Clubs / playgrounds must comply with the prevailing Sector Specific Requirements by ESG for retail establishments.

5.5.        Marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions of ≤ 100 pax[7] must comply with SMMs in this circular.

5.6.        Training and professional development classes organised by a permitted enterprise of ≤ 50 pax including the trainer[8] must comply with SMMs in this circular.

5.7.        Work-related events held outside of workplaces/own premises (which include consumer-facing events (such as product launches / branding events) and work meetings (among colleagues or with external parties, training, board meetings, HR talks, townhalls, seminars, corporate retreats, conferences on business strategies, Annual/Extraordinary General Meetings, tender briefings to vendors and award ceremonies)) must comply with SMMs such as the following:

5.7.1.       Up to 50 persons at any time or the maximum number of individuals which the room or venue may accommodate if there is a distance of at least 1 metre between any 2 individuals, whichever is lower.

5.7.2.       At least 1 metre spacing between individuals at all times.

5.7.3.       F&B must not be the main feature of the event.

More details on requirements are available from MOH[9], STB[10] and MOM[11].

5.8.        Live performances held in hotels can have up to 250 audience members in zones of up to 50 persons each and must comply with the prevailing Sector Specific Requirements by NAC for live performances[12].

6.    While the majority of the SMMs mentioned in this circular (including its annexes) are drawn from the Control Order and are summarised for the convenience of hotels, this circular is not exhaustive, and the prevailing Control Order will prevail in case of any inconsistency.

 

B.   Applications to Provide Leisure Bookings

7.    In Phase 3, any hotel that wishes to resume allocation of accommodation to guests for the purposes of leisure (i.e. provide leisure bookings) must do the following in order to be considered for re-opening in Phase 3:

7.1.        Comply with the Sector Specific Requirements for leisure bookings also found within Annex A and any additional SMMs proposed by the hotel in in its application, over and above compliance with the Control Order and all other applicable SMMs and the Sector Specific Requirements applicable to hotel facilities.

7.2.        Submit the application found at Annex B through STB via go.gov.sg/localbookingapplication. STB and MTI will take up to 14 working days to assess each application.

7.3.        Undergo an inspection scheduled and conducted by STB as part of the assessment process.

7.4.        Resume allocation of accommodation (i.e. accepting bookings) only after receiving approval, if any, from MTI.

8.    The details in this circular are provided to help hotels develop their plans and implement the necessary SMMs for providing leisure bookings safely. These plans will have to be tailored to the specific nature of operations in each hotel, and potential risk factors arising from localised factors such as the physical premises and layout, environment, scale of operations, and typical guest behaviour.

9.    Hotels must also address key outcomes in their application to reduce potential transmission risks and support contact tracing efforts. Risk factors for hotels to consider include proximity between guests, propensity for crowds to form, level of activity and number of high-touch surfaces.

10.  Each application must show how the hotel will achieve all the following key outcomes:

Outcomes

1.    Ability to meet density requirements

·         Limit occupancy to no more than 1 person per 8sqm guest-accessible public space per person (excluding hotel staff) at any point in time

·         Implement more stringent safe management measures at areas where guests and staff spend more time, as opposed to areas which see more transient traffic

2.    Reduce face-to-face mingling among guests, between employees and between staff and guests

·         Stagger timings for guests to be at hotel lobby and guest facilities, and employees at back of house work environment

3.    Ability to disperse crowds and prevent bunching

4.    Mandatory implementation of SafeEntry and encourage use of Trace Together

5.    Implement rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regimes, particularly for high touch elements


11.  The application must also detail plans addressing operational areas such as SMMs for visitors and workplaces, response plans (to handle unwell guests, suspected/ confirmed cases), and marketing and communications plan for re-opening.

12.  Hotels whose applications are approved must submit the information described below:

12.1.        Submit a set of required data every Friday before 10am via go.gov.sg/covid19-hotelupdates. This information will be used only as internal reference for public policy purposes, and will not be shared with other hotels.

12.2.        Submit the number of staff who are working on-site within 2 weeks of the date of resumption of on-site operations for leisure bookings following approval from MTI via https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg.

12.3.        Inform STB immediately whenever there is a positive COVID-19 case at the hotel[13] via STB_Hotels@stb.gov.sg, providing such particulars of the case as may be requested by STB.

 

C.   Resumption of Operations for Certain Facilities of SDFs, GQFs and SIFs

13.  For hotels that are currently serving as SDFs, GQFs, and SIFs, please refer to the table below for an overview as to what facilities may operate.

Business activities

Assessments and approval required

F&B Dine-in, takeaway, delivery

Subject to assessment and approval by the relevant authorities.

Hotels to submit requests and the following plans to the respective officer from SLA that your hotel has been liaising with:

·         Physical premises segregation and security plans

·         Other safe management measures to provide a safe environment for customers and workers

Ballrooms/ Function rooms/ other amenities (Spa/ Gym/ Swimming pool etc.)

Allocating accommodation to individuals for the purposes of leisure (i.e. providing leisure bookings)

Subject to assessment and approval by the relevant authorities.

Subject to STB’s assessment and MTI’s approval of application under Section B above.

Hotels must also submit requests and the following plans to the respective officer from SLA that your hotel has been liaising with:

·         Physical premises segregation and security plans

·         Other safe management measures to provide a safe environment for customers and workers

 

D.   Enforcement of Safe Management Measures

14.  STB will conduct enforcement checks to ensure compliance with SMMs, including SMMs proposed in the application of the hotel. Enforcement action will be taken against offenders who operate without the requisite MTI approval (e.g. providing leisure bookings) and/or fail to comply with SMMs.

15.  Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act passed in Parliament on 7 April 2020, first-time offenders may be fined up to $10,000, imprisoned up to six months, or both. Repeat offenders may be fined up to $20,000, imprisoned up to twelve months, or both. Also under the Act, businesses that are not compliant may be ordered to cease business activities or close altogether. Businesses that do are not compliant may also be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance.

 

16.  For any enquiries, please contact STB at STB_Hotels@stb.gov.sg.

 

Annex A – Checklist of Safe Management Measures for Hotels (including for Providing Leisure Bookings)

Annex B – Application Form Template

 

 

SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

Updated as of 22 January 2021

 

[1] “Hotel” means a hotel and any other similar building or boarding premises, not being a dormitory for foreign employees, a hostel or a public institution -

(a) in which persons are lodged for hire or reward of any kind (whether or not the cost of such hire or reward is paid for by such persons); and

(b) where domestic service is provided by the owner, lessee, tenant, occupier or manager for the person so lodged

[2] https://sso.agc.gov.sg/SL/COVID19TMA2020-S254-2020

[3] https://sso.agc.gov.sg/SL/COVID19TMA2020-S927-2020

[4] Hotels contracted for government uses for COVID-19 purposes i.e. MWDs, SDFs, GQFs, and SIFs are to refer to table under Paragraph 11 for overview on types of business activities that may resume, subject to approval from relevant authorities.

[5] Not more than 8 individuals, unless the individuals are from the same household (i.e. same ordinary place of residence). From 26 January 2021: Not more than 8 individuals to a guestroom or pair of inter-accessible guest rooms on any single day, except where the individuals are all from the same household (i.e. same address).

[6] https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/sector

[7] Excluding the Solemniser (for solemnisation), vendors and hotel staff. Vendors and hotel staff should be kept to the minimum required.

[8] Excludes hotel staff.

[9] https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/roadmap-to-phase-three

[10] https://www.stb.gov.sg/content/stb/en/home-pages/faq-on-covid-19.html#BusinessEvents

[11] https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/frequently-asked-questions/safe-management-measures

[12] https://www.nac.gov.sg/whatwedo/support/sustaining-the-arts-during-covid-19/Arts-and-Culture-Sector-Advisories.html

[13] Includes guests and visitors that have patronised or visited the hotel, and hotel staff.