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Advisory for Phase 3 Re-opening of Retail Establishments and Lifestyle-Related Services

1.      The Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced on 14 December that Phase 3 will commence on 28 December 2020, where more activities in the community will resume.

2.      To provide a safe environment for customers and workers, retail establishments and lifestyle-related services currently in operation must implement Safe Management Measures (SMMs), as required by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations.

3.      In addition, retail establishments and lifestyle-related services are required to comply with the measures set out by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Housing & Development Board (HDB), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in this document. Establishments required to comply with these measures include malls, supermarkets and standalone stores[1]. The information in this document supersedes that in previous advisories or statements.

Phase 3 updates for Retail establishments

4.      Retail establishments and lifestyle-related services are to note the following:

4.1.   With effect from 28 December 2020, social gatherings are allowed to comprise  up to 8 persons, an increase from 5 persons.

4.2.   With effect from 28 December 2020, the occupancy limit for malls and large standalone stores has been changed to one person per 8 sqm of Gross Floor Area (GFA), an increase from one person per 10 sqm of GFA (see paragraphs 6 and 7).

4.3.   In the first half of 2021, TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be introduced at retail establishments and lifestyle-related services. Before TraceTogether-only SafeEntry is introduced, these establishments should implement Token check-in mode which allows the scanning of TraceTogether Tokens for SafeEntry check-in (see paragraph 8.3 for details).

Resumption of retail operations

5.      Business-focused work-related events (both non customer-facing and customer-facing[2]) can be held within the workplace premises and third-party venues.  Existing guidelines on the respective event venues will apply.

5.1.   Non customer-facing events:

  • Events held in retail establishments are subject to a cap of 50 persons or a lower number, depending on venue capacity and safe distancing requirements.
  • At least one-metre spacing between individuals must be maintained at all times.
  • Meals should not be the main feature. Food and drinks, if provided, must be served to seated diners individually. Meal durations should be kept short to minimise the period that individuals are unmasked.
  • Prevailing SMMs as indicated in MOM’s Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the workplace [3] continue to apply.

5.2.   Customer-facing events:

  • Events organised by retail establishments within their own retail premises are subject to the maximum number of individuals that the venue may accommodate after safe distancing measures are adhered to. See occupancy limits in paragraphs 6 and 7.
  • Events organised by retail establishments at third-party venues are subject to a cap of 50 persons or a lower number, depending on venue capacity and safe distancing requirements (excluding service staff).
  • Events organised by external parties at retail establishments (where the premises now functions as a third-party venue) are subject to a cap of 50 persons or a lower number, depending on venue capacity and safe distancing requirements (excluding service staff).
  • Meals should not be the main feature. Food and drinks, if provided, must be served to seated diners individually. Meal durations should be kept short to minimise the period that individuals are unmasked.
  • All other prevailing workplace and venue SMMs must be adhered to.

5.3.    Such events are still not permitted at public and common areas such as mall atriums, public transport nodes, HDB estates and common corridors.

5.4.    Enterprise events are only allowed for work-related reasons. Those that are social or recreational in nature (e.g. Dinner & Dance) are not allowed.

Stipulated Occupancy Limits

6.      From 28 December 2020, the occupancy limit for all malls and large standalone stores > 930 sqm (or 10,000 sqft) of GFA has been changed to one person per 8 sqm of GFA[4].

7.      All other stores (e.g. shops within malls, at HDB residential blocks, at MRT stations or bus interchanges) are not required to adhere to these occupancy limits as long as  at least one-metre distancing between individual customers or groups of customers who are shopping together (up to 8 persons) is maintained.

Safe Management Measures – Customer-facing Operations/Front-of-house

8.      The following measures apply to all customer-facing operations of retail establishments and lifestyle-related services.

8.1.    Safe distancing

8.1.1. Retail establishments are to ensure at least one-metre spacing between groups of patrons (of up to 8 persons).  

8.1.2. Retail establishments are to clearly demarcate queue lines for customers at entrances, cashier counters, weighing counters, fitting rooms and must ensure at least one-metre spacing between individual customers (e.g. using floor markers).

8.1.3. Employees must manage queues to ensure that safe distancing is observed at all times.

8.2.    Crowd management

8.2.1. Activities and events at mall atriums are not allowed[5]. Retail establishments may conduct customer-facing activities or events within the shop premises or at permitted third-party venues such as MICE locations.

8.2.2. Operators of common play areas for children/toddlers/infants in retail stores or malls[6] must ensure at least one-metre spacing between groups of patrons (of up to 8 persons).

8.3.    Contact tracing

8.3.1. The following retail establishments are required to deploy SafeEntry[7] to log the check-in of customers, vendors and visitors to their premises:

  • Malls and large standalone stores;
  • Large retail stores >930 sqm or 10,000 sqft;
  • Supermarkets;
  • Stores providing personal care and beauty services, as these are higher-risk venues where customers will be unmasked. 

8.3.2. SafeEntry check-in today can be done by the following modes, scanning of the SafeEntry QR code using a QR code scanner on a smartphone, using SingPass Mobile App, using the TraceTogether App or presenting the TraceTogether Token or NRIC/FIN for scanning. While all these modes of check-in are still acceptable, the above listed retail establishments (with some exceptions listed in paragraph 8.3.4) should implement Token check-in mode which allows the scanning of TraceTogether Tokens for SafeEntry check-in[1]. Businesses that already accept NRIC/FIN for check-in will also be able to accept Token for check-in if they are already using the smartphone loaded with the SafeEntry (Business) App setup, or the laptop and scanner setup, if the scanner can scan barcode and QR code.

8.3.3. For avoidance of doubt, TraceTogether Token check-in mode is not the same as TraceTogether-only SafeEntry. The former refers to the mode of check-in[9], while the latter refers to the overall programme which will permit only TraceTogether modes of check-in (for which either the TraceTogether App or Token will be valid). We have yet to implement TraceTogether-only SafeEntry for retail establishments. 

8.3.4. After TraceTogether-only SafeEntry is implemented in the first half of 2021, large retail stores >930sqm (or 10,000sqft) and supermarkets located inside other TraceTogether-only SafeEntry venues with same operating hours(e.g. malls or commercial buildings) will not be required to deploy TraceTogether-only SafeEntry for customers, vendors and visitors. However, large retail stores and supermarkets with longer operating hours than the malls or commercial buildings must continue to implement SafeEntry.

8.3.5. Currently, retail stores ≤ 930sqm (or 10,000 sqft) are encouraged, but not required, to deploy SafeEntry for customers. After TraceTogether-only SafeEntry is implemented nationwide in the first half of 2021, such retail stores that are located inside other TraceTogether-only SafeEntry venues, such as malls or commercial buildings etc, will no longer be encouraged to deploy SafeEntry for customers, vendors and visitors.

8.4.      Health checks

8.4.1.   All malls, large standalone stores, supermarkets and stores providing personal care and beauty services must conduct temperature screening[10], employees must check for visible symptoms[11]  for customers at entrances, and turn away those with fever and/or who appear unwell[12].

8.5.      Cleanliness and hygiene

8.5.1.   All employees, customers, delivery personnel and other onsite personnel must put on their masks properly at all times. 

8.5.2.   Product testers and samples for self application and immediate consumption, e.g. perfume testers,  make-up testers and unsealed food samples, are not allowed. Staff must also not apply the product sample directly on customers.

8.5.3.   Retail establishments must ensure frequent cleaning and disinfection of:

  • Common spaces such as counters and display shelves, where customers are served, as well as play areas for children/toddlers/infants;
  • Items such as shopping trolleys/baskets and handrails, which have high human contact; and
  • Interactive hardware such as iPads, mall directories, self-checkout kiosks or lift buttons.

9.        Retail establishments should put up clear signages to remind customers to comply with safe distancing requirements where applicable, and train and deploy service personnel to provide clear communication to customers on safe distancing measures.

10.      Refer to Annex A for other recommended guidelines, and Annex B on guidance for specific trades.

Safe Management Measures – Workplace Premises[13]

11.      To ensure COVID-safe workplaces, retail establishments should take care of their workers, workplaces and those who may become unwell at their workplaces, as outlined in MOM’s Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the Workplace.

12.      For non customer-facing work-related events, please see paragraph 5.1.

Enforcement of measures

13.      Government agencies will be conducting inspections to check on the proper implementation of the SMMs. 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. For subsequent offences, they may face a fine of up to S$20,000, imprisonment of up to twelve months, or both.

14.      Businesses that do not implement or comply with the government’s SMMs may be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance, and may also be subject to temporary closures.

 

Annex A – Other recommended guidelines for customer-facing operations

Annex B – Trade-specific Safe Management Measures for Retail Establishments and Lifestyle-Related Services

Annex C – Checklist of Safe Management Measures (customer-facing Operations)

 

Issued by:
Enterprise Singapore
Housing & Development Board
Singapore Tourism Board
Urban Redevelopment Authority

Updated as of 30 January 2021

 

[1] These refer to stores that occupy entire buildings, e.g. IKEA, Decathlon Innovation Lab.

[2] Non customer-facing events include conferences, seminars, corporate retreats, etc, while customer-facing events include product launches, store opening, marketing/branding events, workshops, etc. Events that are substantially recreational or social in nature (e.g, gala dinners, networking functions, company D&Ds) are not permitted.

[3] Refer to MOM’s Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the Workplace.

[4] For mixed-use developments, GFA refers to the retail component only.

[5] Such activities may be allowed for supermarkets on a case-by-case basis, if an extension of existing retail space is deemed necessary to ensure safe distancing. Approval must be sought from ESG.

[6] These play areas refer to the facilities provided free-of-charge in the shops or at the malls’ common areas.

[7] A full list of places where SafeEntry must be deployed can be found at https://www.safeentry.gov.sg/deployment.

[8] TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will only be implemented after everyone has had the chance to collect a Token in their constituencies, and a reasonable period of national distribution is achieved When TraceTogether-only SafeEntry is implemented, individuals entering premises on TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will have to use either their TraceTogether App or TraceTogether Token to check in. Foreigners who are pass holders can register for the TT app using their FIN and/or collect their TT tokens from designated collection points.

[9] TraceTogether Token check-in is done by premises scanning the QR codes on the TraceTogether Tokens of customers, vendors and visitors. Refer to https://go.gov.sg/token-scanning to find out how to implement Token check-in mode.

[10] Individuals with temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius are considered as having a fever. Supermarkets and stores providing beauty services in malls need not conduct temperature screening and checks on visible symptoms for customers if the mall is already doing so. They should, however, do so if they operate outside the mall hours.

[11] Notable visible symptoms to look out for include: (a) coughing; (b) sneezing; (c) breathlessness; and (d) a runny nose.

[12] Except where the individual is entering the permitted premises to seek medical treatment for a specific symptom.

[13] Refers to the retail establishments’ back-of-house operations involving employees, including at offices, warehouses and manufacturing facilities.