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UPDATED ADVISORY ON SAFE MANAGEMENT MEASURES REQUIRED FOR TOURS RE-OPENING IN PHASE 2

1.      The Multi-Ministry Taskforce (“MTF”) announced on 19 May 2020 that Singapore would exit the Circuit Breaker from 2 June and resume activities in three phases. On 15 June 2020, the MTF announced that Phase 2 would commence on 19 June 2020. More businesses are allowed to re-open in Phase 2, subject to safe management measures being implemented to provide a safe environment for both customers and workers, so as to minimise the risk of a COVID-19 resurgence.

2.      Tours offered by tour operators and tourist guides may resume operations, subject to application to the Singapore Tourism Board (“STB’) for assessment and approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”). STB will accept applications from 29 June 2020 onwards. Tour operators and tourist guides must comply with the latest requirements for Safe Management Measures (“SMMs”) found at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/general, the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 found at https://sso.agc.gov.sg/SL/COVID19TMA2020-S254-2020 (“Control Order”), and the sector-specific requirements for tour operations found at Annex A of this document.

SUBMISSION OF TOUR ITINERARIES AND SCHEDULES FOR APPROVAL

3.      Prior to re-opening, tour operators and tourist guides[1] must submit their tour itineraries and schedules to the Singapore Tourism Board (“STB”) for assessment (Annex B). Tour operators and tourist guides may resume tour operations only after receiving approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”).

4.      STB has provided guidance within this advisory to help tour operators and tourist guides develop and implement the necessary SMMs. A declaration to comply with the necessary SMMs and requirements is to be submitted together with the proposed tour itineraries and schedules (Annex C).

5.      Tour operators and tourist guides must also address the following key outcomes in their tour operations:

Outcomes and key guidelines

A.   Reduce Transmission Risk

  • For walking, cycling and kayaking tours, adhere to a maximum group size of 10 pax (excluding  tourist guide), with maximum 5 pax allowed in any one sub-group[2]
  •  For conveyance-assisted tours, capacity on board all conveyance to be capped at 50 pax or at    the operating capacity of the conveyance after implementation of safe management measures, whichever is lower.
  • For all tours, ensure not more than 5 pax in a sub-group and maintain at least 1m safe distance between sub-groups. Ensure no intermingling between different sub-groups at all times
  • Tours must not exceed 8 hours
  • Implement safe management measures throughout the tour and on conveyance used
  • Adopt good hygiene practices, for example, frequent sanitising of hands
  • Participants, tourist guides and drivers to wear masks at all times
  • Use portable audio tour guide system or equivalent

 

B.   Facilitate contact tracing

  • Maintain records of detailed tour itinerary and tour schedule, participants’ and tour partners’ contact
  • Deploy SafeEntry where applicable
  • Encourage installation of TraceTogether.

 

C.   Reduce surface transmission risk

  • Implement rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regimes, particularly for high touch elements such as tour equipment and conveyance.

 

 

6.      Please refer to the Assessment Checklist: Requirements for Re-opening of Tours in Annex A for the list of requirements for each phase of a tour. While the majority of these requirements are drawn from the Control Order and are summarised for the convenience of tour operators and tourist guides, the Control Order will prevail in case of any inconsistency.

7.      Tour operators and tourist guides should submit their application to STB (STB_TID@stb.gov.sg). STB and MTI will take up to 14 days to assess each application.

8.      Tour operators and tourist guides whose applications are approved must submit a set of required data every Monday before 2pm. Submissions are to be made at go.gov.sg/covid19-touroperationsupdates. Information collected will be used only as internal reference for public policy purposes, and will not be shared with other tour operators and tourist guides.

ENFORCEMENT OF MEASURES

9.      Government agencies are stepping up enforcement to ensure that businesses comply with the required 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. Repeat offenders may face a fine of up to S$20,000, imprisonment of up to twelve months, or both. Further, other powers under the Act, such as closure of the premises and suspension or revocation of licences, may be used against tour operators and tourist guides that are found to be non-compliant.

10.      Tour operators and tourist guides who do not comply with the Government’s required SMMs may also be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance.

 

Annex A – Assessment Checklist: Requirements for Re-opening of Tours

Annex B – Application Form for Re-opening of Tour Operations

Annex C – Declaration Form for Re-opening of Tour Operations

Safe Management Measures Required for Tours Re-Opening in Phase 2: Manual for Tour Operators and Tourist Guides

 

SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

Updated as of 27 July 2020

 

[1] To avoid doubt, tour operators and tourist guides must still obtain the relevant licences under the Travel Agents Act (Cap.334) and Singapore Tourism Board Act (Cap.305B) respectively unless exempted under such legislation.

[2] Tour participants of the same sub-group are allowed to interact with one another in person. Tour participants from different sub-groups should maintain at least 1m safe distance, with no close interactions with one another.