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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.    On 30 April 2021, MTF announced additional community measures that would be implemented from 1 May through 14 May 2021 (unless otherwise stated). To manage the evolving community situation, we will step up efforts to keep the community safe and break the chains of transmission by reducing interactions amongst social circles and at the workplace. Activities that involve large gatherings will also be calibrated to ensure the risk of transmission at such events are mitigated. The additional measures announced on 4 May 2021 will take effect from 8 May through 30 May 2021, subject to the prevailing public health situation in Singapore.

4.     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

5.    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:

5.1.        Hotels must comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020[2] and, where applicable, the COVID‑19 (Temporary Measures) (Major Business Events — Control Order) Regulations 2021 and 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.

5.2.        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.

5.3.        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.

6.    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:

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

6.2.        Sports and exercise environments, including gyms must comply with the prevailing Sector Specific Requirements by Sport Singapore’s (“Sports SG”) for sports facilities. [7]

6.3.        Pools must comply with the prevailing Sector Specific Requirements by Sport Singapore’s (“Sports SG”) for sports facilities.

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

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

6.6.        Marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions of ≤ 50 pax[8] must comply with SMMs in this circular.

From 8 May 2021: Marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions of ≤ 250 pax[9] must comply with SMMs in this circular.

6.7.        Training and professional development classes organised by a permitted enterprise of ≤ 50 pax including the trainer[10] must comply with SMMs in this circular.

6.8.        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:

6.7.1.       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.

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

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

From 8 May 2021: MICE Events[11] held in hotels can have up to 100 participants without pre-event testing implemented, and up to 250 participants with pre-event testing implemented, and must comply with the prevailing Sector Specific Requirements for Business Events.

More details on requirements are available from MOH[12], STB[13] and MOM[14].


6.9.        From 8 May 2021: Live performances held in hotels can have up to 100 audience members without pre-event testing implemented and up to 250 audience members with pre-event testing implemented, in zones of up to 50 persons each and must comply with the prevailing Sector Specific Requirements by NAC for live performances[15].

7.    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

8.    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:

8.1.        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.

8.2.        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.

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

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

9.    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.

10.    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.

11.  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 10sqm 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


12.  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.

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

13.1.        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.

13.2.        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.

13.3.        Inform STB immediately whenever there is a positive COVID-19 case at the hotel[16] 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

14.  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

15.  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.

16.  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. Under the Infectious Diseases (Mass Gathering Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019) Regulations 2021, businesses that fail to comply with requirements thereunder will face a fine not exceeding $10,000 and attendees that fail to comply will face a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to 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.

17.  For any enquiries, please contact STB.

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 8 May 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 14 for overview on types of business activities that may resume, subject to approval from relevant authorities.

[5]  Not more than 5 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] For full details, please refer to Sports SG’s advisory, https://www.sportsingapore.gov.sg/Newsroom/Media- Releases/2021/May/(7-May)-Stricter-Safe-Management-Measures-For-Sport-And-Physical-Exercise-and- Activity-(8-30-May).

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

[9] Excluding the Solemniser (for solemnisation), vendors and hotel staff. Vendors and hotel staff should be kept to the minimum required. For solemnisation-only events involving more than 50 attendees, pre-event testing will be required for the wedding couple only. For wedding receptions involving more than 50 attendees, pre- event testing will be required for all attendees (including the wedding couple). Please refer to MOH’s guidelines at moh.gov.sg/covid-19/pet for more information on pre-event testing.

[10] Excludes hotel staff.

[11] “MICE events” refer to business-oriented events such as meetings, conferences and exhibitions arranged or with more than 50 participants (which are not held for individual consumers to attend) to (a) discuss or negotiate matters relating to trade, commerce or finance, professional practice or matters, health, arts, science, technology, industry, economics, industrial relations, security, international affairs, the environment or any other cause or matter, whether or not of a similar kind; (b) temporarily exhibit or display goods of any kind for the purposes of sale or supply; or (c) promote the trading of goods or the provision of services.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

CIRCULAR FOR HOSTELS

Update on further resumption of business activities for Backpackers’ Hostels

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: 

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. 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.     On 30 April 2021, MTF announced additional community measures that would be implemented from 1 May through 14 May 2021 (unless otherwise stated). To manage the evolving community situation, we will step up efforts to keep the community safe and break the chains of transmission by reducing interactions amongst social circles and at the workplace. Activities that involve large gatherings will also be calibrated to ensure the risk of transmission at such events are mitigated. The additional measures announced on 4 May 2021 will take effect from 8 May through 30 May 2021, subject to the prevailing public health situation in Singapore. 

4.     All hostel operators are reminded to comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020[1]. Hostels must not allocate accommodation (e.g. accept bookings) to individuals for the purposes of leisure (i.e. provide leisure bookings) without the prior written permission of MTI. 

5.     Singapore needs to continue to remain united and disciplined in our fight against COVID-19. This includes the hotel[2] industry. The information in this circular (which includes its annexes) supersedes that in previous advisories or statements.

Applications to Provide Leisure Bookings in Private Ensuite Rooms

6.     In our latest review of measures for backpackers’ hostels, MTI and STB have worked with other Government agencies to support the resumption of leisure stays for backpackers’ hostels with private ensuite rooms (i.e. rooms which have at least one private bathroom). Such hostels may resume accepting guests for leisure purposes, such as staycations, from 1 April 2021 onwards. The leisure guests will only allowed to be accommodated in the private ensuite rooms. Backpackers’ hostels that have private ensuite rooms and wish to resume accepting leisure bookings must abide by the following: 

a.     Comply with the Sector Specific Requirements for leisure bookings, which can be found within Annex A, and any additional safe management measures (SMMs) proposed by the hostel in its application, over and above compliance with the Control Order and all other applicable SMMs and the Sector Specific Requirements applicable to hostel facilities.

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

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

d.     Resume the accommodation of guests for leisure purposes only after receiving approval from MTI. Backpackers’ hostels whose applications have been rejected by MTI will not be allowed to resume leisure stays at its premise.

7.     In addition, we would like to highlight the following arrangement which approved applicants are to follow (more details can be found in the annexes):  

a.    Each private ensuite room can only permit one booking, and can accommodate no more than 5 individuals unless they are from the same household (i.e. same address on NRIC), capped at the room’s maximum capacity as per the approved plans by URA and/or SCDF. For example, if a hostel private ensuite room only has 4 beds, the maximum number of guests who can be checked into the room will be 4 persons, notwithstanding the prevailing group capacity limit of 5 persons. All hostel guests must be pre-registered prior to being allocated a room.

b.     Visitors who are not staying in the hostels are not allowed to enter the hostel premises. Hostels should also ensure that they have the means to detect entry of every individual into a guest room, such as through CCTV monitoring or having staff stationed at lift lobbies.

c.     The bedding requirements of single beds placed 1 metre apart and bunk beds arranged in a top-down alternating fashion will not apply for private ensuite rooms booked for leisure stays. For avoidance of doubt, if the hostel is not selling the private ensuite room for leisure, and the room is booked by a company for their workers, the current set of bedding requirements shall continue to apply.

d.     Guests staying for non-leisure purposes should not be allocated the same room as guests staying for leisure purposes.

e.     All other recreational facilities within the hostel premises shall remain closed until further notice, for example, TV/Games room. The pantry area may continue to be used by hostel guests, however, each guest should be seated 1 metre apart from all other guests at all times in the pantry and at common areas such as corridors/ lobbies. There should be no gatherings or inter-mingling within the hostel premises at all times. 

f.     The hostel must implement staggered check-in for leisure guests.

8.     Hostel operators must also explain how they will address key outcomes in their application to STB, to reduce potential transmission risks and support contact tracing efforts. Risk factors for hostels to consider include proximity between guests, propensity for crowds to form, level of activity and number of high-touch surfaces. Each application must show how the hostel will achieve all the following key outcomes:

  Outcomes

 1. Ability to meet density requirements
  • Limit occupancy to no more than 1 person per 10sqm guest-accessible public space per person (excluding hostel staff) at any point in time, where practicable.  
  • Implement more stringent SMMs 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 hostel 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


9.     The application must also detail plans addressing operational areas such as SMMs for workplaces, response plans (to handle unwell guests, suspected/confirmed cases), and marketing and communications plan for re-opening. Hostels whose applications have been approved must submit the following information:

a.     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 COVID-19 related policy planning and will not be shared with the public.

b.     The number of staff 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.

c.     Inform STB immediately whenever there is a known positive COVID-19 case or person under quarantine at the hostel Includes guests and visitors that have patronised or visited the hostel, and hostel staff. via STB_Hotels@stb.gov.sg, providing such particulars of the case as may be requested by STB.

1Includes guests that have patronised or visited the hotel, and hotel staff.
 

Enforcement of Safe Management Measures

10.     STB will conduct enforcement checks to ensure compliance with SMMs, including SMMs proposed in the hostel’s application. Enforcement action will be taken against offenders who operate without MTI’s approval to provide leisure accommodation and/or fail to comply with SMMs.

11.     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.

12.  COVID-19 remains a serious threat. We strongly urge all hostels to do your part to ensure that all SMMs are properly implemented. We encourage you to remain vigilant to avoid the resurgence of cases seen in many other countries, which would lead to further tightening of measures and adversely impact the industry. We will continue to monitor the situation and review the SMMs and resumption of greater business activities for hostels gradually.

Eligibility as a SingapoRediscovers Vouchers merchant

13.  Backpacker’s hostels with private ensuite rooms which have received MTI’s approval to accept leisure bookings will be eligible to participate in the SingapoRediscovers Vouchers scheme if the hostel is licensed under the Hotels Act and SG-Clean certified. To be whitelisted as a merchant, you will need to abide by the Merchant Terms and Conditions. Please reach out to STB_Hotels@stb.gov.sg if you meet the eligibility criteria and would like to be whitelisted.

Thank you. 

Annex A

Annex B

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

[2] “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

SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

Updated as of 4 May 2021