TOP

UPDATED CIRCULAR ON SAFE MANAGEMENT MEASURES REQUIRED FOR TOURS RE-OPENING

 

Key Updates:

With effect from 1 January 2022:

  • For tours that involve i) entry into settings with Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS), ii) F&B components[1], or iii) indoor activities where masks are not worn, the maximum number of participants in each group within such tours is capped at 5 pax, regardless of whether they are from the same household.  

i.         All individuals within such tours must be:

  • fully vaccinated[2];
  • have recovered from Covid-19[3] (if applicable);
  • children aged 12 years and below (i.e. born in or after 2009)[4], and if there are 2 or more such children in the group, the children must be from the same household; or
  • certified medically ineligible[5].

ii.         For tours that involve F&B components at hawker centres and coffee shops that are not able to administer comprehensive VDS, the dine-in group size is capped at 2. Participants must revert to their earlier groupings of up to 5 after leaving the hawker centre or coffee shop or else remain in the same groupings of 2.

  • For tours that do not involve i) entry into settings with VDS, ii) any F&B components, or iii) indoor activities where masks are not worn, ensure that the maximum number of participants in a group within each such tour is capped at 5 pax, regardless of vaccination status or whether they are from the same household. 

[1] This includes F&B at regular F&B establishments, hawker centres and coffee shops.

[2] This means they must have received the appropriate regimen of vaccines under the World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL). For more information, refer to MOH’s information sheet on the requirements for VDS.

[3]  All recovered persons from COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated will only be given a 180-day exemption after infection to enter settings where VDS is implemented, including F&B establishments. Those who have recovered from COVID-19 and will exceed the 180-day period as at 1 January 2022, but have yet to be fully vaccinated, will be given until 31 January 2022 to complete their primary vaccination regime, so as to be able to enter VDS settings.

[4] A grace period will be extended to children born in December 2009 to allow them sufficient time to get fully vaccinated. Children born in 2009 who will turn 13 in 2022 will need to be fully vaccinated to enter venues and participate in activities with VDS from 1 March 2022 (instead of 1 January 2022). From 1 March 2022, the concession for children will only be extended to those born in or after the year 2010.

[5] To be certified as medically ineligible, individuals may visit a doctor familiar with their medical condition, or alternatively, any clinic or hospital to obtain a hardcopy doctor-certified memo

 

1.       On 30 December 2021, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) released a joint advisory with Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Housing & Development Board (HDB), Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to update the Safe Management Measures (SMMs) at Food & Beverage Establishments, Retail Establishments and Lifestyle-Related Services. In line with this, STB has updated the SMMs applicable to tours.

2.      These measures may be adjusted further, subject to the prevailing public health situation in Singapore. The information in this circular (which includes its annexes) supersedes that in previous advisories or statements.

3.      Tours offered by tour operators and tourist guides can resume operations, subject to application to the Singapore Tourism Board (“STB’) for assessment and approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”). 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 and the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Performances and Other Activities – Control Order) Regulations 2020 found at https://sso.agc.gov.sg/SL/COVID19TMA2020-S927-2020 (collectively “Control Order”), and the sector-specific requirements for tour operations found in Annex A of this document.

 

SUBMISSION OF TOUR ITINERARIES AND SCHEDULES FOR APPROVAL

4.      Tour operators and tourist guides[6] who have not resumed tour operations must submit the application form (Annex B) to STB for assessment. Tour operators and tourist guides may resume tour operations only after receiving approval from MTI.

5.      STB has provided guidance within this circular to help tour operators and tourist guides develop and implement the necessary SMMs. A declaration to comply with the necessary SMMs and requirements (Annex C) is to be submitted together with the application form.

6.     Tour operators and tourist guides who have previously received approval from MTI for at least one tour itinerary may resume operations of subsequent tour itineraries[7] without the need to submit a new application. These subsequent tour itineraries can be different from the itinerary submitted for approval. However, the responsibility lies with the tour operators and tourist guides to ensure that all tours comply with the Control Order and all other applicable SMMs.

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

Outcomes and key guidelines

- Reduce Transmission Risk

  • For walking, cycling and kayaking tours, the maximum number of participants must be capped at 20 (excluding tourist guide).
  • For conveyance-assisted tours, capacity on board every conveyance must be capped at 50 participants or at the operating capacity of the conveyance, whichever is lower.
  • Ensuring that the maximum number of individuals in a group within each tour is capped at the prevailing permissible group size.
  • A safe distance of at least one metre between each group must be maintained (including on the conveyance), with no intermingling between different groups at all times.
  • Implement safe management measures throughout the tour and on the conveyance used.
  • Adopt good hygiene practices; for example, frequent sanitising of hands.
  • Ensure participants and service providers, such as tourist guides and drivers, are wearing masks at all times.
  • Use a portable audio tour guide system or equivalent.

 

- Facilitate Contact Tracing

  • Maintain records of detailed tour itinerary and tour schedule, as well as participants’ and tour partners’ contact details.
  • Deploy SafeEntry where applicable.
  • Ensure participants’ use of the TraceTogether app or token.

 

- Reduce Surface Transmission Risk

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

8.      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.

9.      Tour operators and tourist guides seeking MTI’s approval to resume tour operations should submit their application to STB (STB_TID@stb.gov.sg). STB and MTI will take up to 14 days to assess each application.


10.      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

11.   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 exercised against tour operators and tourist guides that are found to be non-compliant. Tour operators and tourist guides that are non-compliant may also be ineligible for grants, loans, tax rebates and other Government assistance.

[6] 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 legislatively exempted.

[7] Tour operators and tourist guides are still required to seek approvals from venues, relevant authorities (if applicable) to conduct tours within their premises.

 

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

 

SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

Updated as of 31 December 2021