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Updated Advisory for Safe Management Measures at Retail Establishments and Lifestyle-Related Services

 

1.         The Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced on 20 July 2021 the further tightening of community Safe Management Measures (SMMs) by going back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). This is to contain the current outbreak while pushing ahead with the COVID-19 vaccination programme for the population. Tightened measures will take place with effect from 22 July through 18 August 2021, and supersede those that were recently introduced.

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.

 

Latest updates for Retail establishments

4.         Retail establishments and lifestyle-related services are to comply with the following from 22 July through 18 August 2021:

4.1.      Social gatherings are allowed to comprise up to 2 persons, a reduction from 5 persons. In line with this, retail establishments are to ensure at least one-metre spacing between groups of customers (of up to 2 persons). Malls should also ensure that crowds do not gather at atriums or common spaces, and discourage the consumption of food and drinks at such spaces.

4.2.     The occupancy limit for malls and large standalone stores[2] will be one person per 16 sqm of Gross Floor Area (GFA), instead of one person per 10 sqm of GFA (see paragraphs 7 and 8). During this period, retail establishments should cancel all events and promotions that will generate crowding at their physical premises in a manner which is non-compliant with the SMMs.

4.3      The operating capacity of Commercial Family Entertainment Centres must be kept to a maximum of one person per 16 sqm of usable space or 25% operating capacity, whichever is lower[3], instead of one person per 10 sqm of usable space or 50% operating capacity (see Annex B).

4.4.     Indoor “mask-off” services and activities must cease. This includes dine-in F&B establishments, strenuous indoor exercise class or strenuous individual and group indoor sports and exercise activities. Personalised services which require masks to be removed (e.g. facials, saunas, make-up services), singing, and the playing of instruments that require intentional expulsion of air (e.g. wind or brass instruments) will also not be allowed. These restrictions will not apply to medical and dental consultations that require patients to have their masks removed.

4.5.     Since 15 July 2021, it has been mandatory for establishments providing personal care services (e.g. facial and nail services, spas/saunas, massage establishments, hairdressing, and make-up services) to place all employees on a regular Fast and Easy Testing (FET) regime using tests such as antigen rapid test (ART), regardless of their vaccination status.

4.5.1. This includes both part-time and full-time employees, as well as third-party contracted staff (e.g. cleaners) who work at the establishments. Business owners and store managers who work at the workplace must also undergo FET. Individuals who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the past 270 days are exempted from the FET Requirement. Establishments can refer to the following Gobusiness portal link for more details. 

4.5.2. From 22 July though 18 August 2021, employees placed on the mandatory FET regime will not be required to conduct FET if their business has ceased operations during the return Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) as per Paragraph 4.4. Businesses (originally providing mask-off services such as facials, spas/saunas and make-up services) that continue to remain open for sale of products or other services must continue to place their employees on the regular 14-day FET regime. Such regular FET will continue to be made free of charge during this period.

4.6.     Food and drinks are not allowed at work-related events.

4.7.     From 21 July 2021, both TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SE) and SafeEntry Gateway (SEGW) check-in requirements will be re-introduced at supermarkets located within TT-only SE buildings with the same operating hours. Other supermarkets, e.g. standalone supermarkets, that have been implementing TT-only SE and SEGW check-in facilities must continue to do so.

4.8.     To facilitate more precise contact tracing efforts, SafeEntry check-out is also encouraged. Refer to paragraph 9.3 for details.

5.        All retail establishments and lifestyle-related services are also to note the following measures:

5.1.     Proactively manage potential contacts of positive COVID-19 cases at the workplace. Refer to https://www.gobusiness.gov.sg/covid-faqs/ for more details.

5.2.     Observe the protocol on disinfection for premises visited by positive COVID-19 cases. Refer to https://www.gobusiness.gov.sg/covid-faqs/ for more details.

 

Work-related events

6.        Work-related events (both non customer-facing and customer-facing[4]) can be held within the workplace premises and third-party venues.  Prevailing guidelines for the respective event venues will apply.

6.1.     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. 
  • Food and drinks are not allowed.
  • Prevailing SMMs as indicated in MOM’s Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the workplace [5] continue to apply.

6.2.     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. 
  • Events organised by retail establishments at third-party venues are subject to a cap of 50 persons (excluding service staff) or a lower number, depending on venue capacity and safe distancing requirements. 
  • Events organised by external parties at retail establishments (where the premises now function as a third-party venue) are subject to a cap of 50 persons (excluding service staff) or a lower number, depending on venue capacity and safe distancing requirements. 
  • Each group must be limited to a maximum of 2 persons, with at least one-metre spacing between groups.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed.
  • All other prevailing workplace and venue SMMs must be adhered to.

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

 

Stipulated occupancy limits

7.        From 22 July 2021 through 18 August 2021, the occupancy limit for all malls and large standalone stores > 930 sqm (or 10,000 sqft) of GFA will be one person per 16 sqm of GFA[6].

8.        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 2 persons) is maintained.

 

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

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

9.1.     Safe distancing

9.1.1.     Retail establishments are to ensure at least one-metre spacing between groups of customers (of up to 2 persons).  

9.1.2.     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 in the queue (e.g. using floor markers).

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

9.2.     Crowd management

9.2.1.     Activities and events at public and common areas such as mall atriums, public transport nodes, HDB estates and common corridors are not allowed[7]. Retail establishments should avoid holding events and promotions that will generate crowding at their physical premises in a manner which is non-compliant with the SMMs.

9.2.2.     Malls should also ensure that crowds do not gather at atriums and common spaces, and discourage the consumption of food and drinks at such spaces.

9.2.3.     Operators of common play areas for children/toddlers/infants in retail stores or malls[8] must ensure at least one-metre spacing between groups of customers.

9.3.     Contact tracing

9.3.1.     The following retail establishments are required to deploy SafeEntry[9] via TT-only SE to log the check-in of customers, vendors and visitors to their premises[10]:

  • Malls;
  • Large retail stores > 930 sqm or 10,000 sqft[11];
  • Supermarkets;
  • Personal care services e.g. hairdressers, barbers, spas, beauty and wellness; and
  • Facilities providing basic pet services (that do not function on a drop-off, pick-up basis).

9.3.2.     Retail establishments required to deploy SafeEntry for customers and visitors will need to provide the SafeEntry Gateway[12] (SEGW) as an additional option for SafeEntry check-in. SEGW is available as a feature within the SafeEntry (Business) App (updated to the latest version) and as a physical standalone device (SEGW Box). These establishments may apply for a free SEGW Box[13].

9.3.3.     From 21 July 2021, TT-only SE and SafeEntry Gateway (SEGW) check-in requirements will be re-introduced at supermarkets that are fully within malls and buildings covered by SafeEntry and have the same operating hours.

9.3.4.     To facilitate more precise contact tracing efforts, SafeEntry check-out is also encouraged. Businesses can facilitate check-out for their customers by toggling to the SEGW check-out function within the SafeEntry (Business) App. Businesses with a higher throughput of visitors and places where people are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods with masks off will also be eligible for SEGW Check-out Boxes[14].

9.3.5.     Refer to Annex A for more details.

9.4.     Health checks

9.4.1.    All malls, large standalone stores, supermarkets and retail establishments providing personal care and beauty services must conduct temperature screening[15], employees must check for visible symptoms[16]  for customers at entrances, and turn away those with fever and/or who appear unwell[17].

9.5.     Cleanliness and hygiene

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

9.5.2.     All retail establishments must not serve food and drinks to customers.

9.5.3.     Hand sanitisers should be made available to employees and customers at common touchpoints (e.g. entry/exit doors, cashiers).

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

9.5.5.     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.

9.6.     Ventilation and improving indoor air quality

9.6.1.     Retail establishments and lifestyle-related services are strongly encouraged to improve ventilation and improve indoor air quality in all premises. Refer to Annex B.

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

11.      Refer to Annex C for other recommended guidelines, and Annex D on guidance for specific trades.

 

Safe Management Measures – Workplace premises[18]

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

13.       Employers must ensure no cross-deployment across worksites[19], i.e. no employee should work at more than one worksite.

13.1.      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[20].

13.2.      For venues that have been visited by positive COVID-19 cases and asked to close by the Ministry of Health (MOH), employees should not be redeployed to other worksites at all for the period of closure. If instructed to go for swabs, employers must ensure that their employees from these venues visit the designated Regional Screening Centre, “Swab and Send Home” (SASH) Public Health Preparedness Clinics or mobile swab sites for the COVID-19 test offered by MOH. These employees should stay at home and minimise social interactions during the period of closure even if their swab results are negative. They should also monitor their health closely, and visit a doctor immediately if unwell.

 

Enforcement of measures

14.       Government agencies will be conducting inspections to check on the proper implementation of the SMMs. Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, 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.

15.       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 – Details of SafeEntry check-in

Annex B – Details on ventilation and improving indoor air quality

Annex C – Other recommended guidelines for customer-facing operations

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

 

 

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

Updated as of 21 July 2021

 

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

[2] These refer to standalone stores > 930 sqm (or 10,000 sqft) of GFA.

[3] Facilities below 50 sqm can admit up to 3 persons. This does not include employees.

[4] Non customer-facing events include conferences, seminars, corporate retreats, etc, while customer-facing events include product launches, store opening, marketing/branding events, etc. Social and recreational gatherings (e.g. farewell lunch, team bonding activity) at the workplace are disallowed.

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

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

[7] 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.

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

[9] More information on SafeEntry and a full list of places where SafeEntry must be deployed can be found at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/safeentry/

[10] However, all retail establishments and lifestyle-related services must require their employees to do SafeEntry check-in via TT-only SE.

[11] Large retail outlets that are fully within malls and buildings covered by SafeEntry and have the same operating hours, are not required to implement SafeEntry for customers, clients and visitors. They should, however, do so if they operate outside the mall hours.

[12] The SEGW enables contactless detection of both the TraceTogether App and Token, and serves as an additional means of SafeEntry check-in that is quicker and more seamless. It also allows users to check if their Token has run out of battery or is not working.

[13] Refer to go.gov.sg/gateway-overview for how to implement the SEGW and apply for a free SEGW Box.

[14] Refer to go.gov.sg/gateway-overview for latest details on when the free SEGW Check-out Boxes are available.

[15] 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.

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

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

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

[19] This will not apply to industries/companies that need to do so due to the nature of their work. Such companies will be required to demonstrate that cross-deployment or interaction between employees is critical for business operations, when requested by MOM or their sector agencies.

[20] E.g. systems are in place to ensure no direct contact between the cross-deployed personnel.