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UPDATED CIRCULAR ON SAFE MANAGEMENT MEASURES REQUIRED FOR TOURS RE-OPENING IN PHASE 2 (HEIGHTENED ALERT)

 

Key Updates:

With effect from 22 July 2021 to 18 August 2021 (both dates inclusive):

·       For all tours (conveyance and non-conveyance), the tour capacity is 20 participants, and the maximum number of pax in a group within each tour must be capped at 2. A safe distance of at least one metre between each group must be maintained with no intermingling between different groups at all times.

·       Tours with food and drink components that require the removal of masks, including dine-in and food sampling/tasting, are not allowed.

 

1.     In response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the community, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (“MTF”) announced on 20 July 2021 that it would further tighten Safe Management Measures (“SMMs”) by going back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) with effect from 22 July 2021 through 18 August 2021.

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.

4.       SMMs will continue to be adjusted in tandem with Singapore’s vaccination coverage.

 

SUBMISSION OF TOUR ITINERARIES AND SCHEDULES FOR APPROVAL

5.       Tour operators and tourist guides[1] 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.

6.       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.

7.       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[2] 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.

8.       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 20 participants or at the operating capacity of the conveyance.

·       Tours with food and drink components that require the removal of masks, including dine-in and food sampling/tasting, are not allowed.

·       For all tours, ensure that the maximum number of pax in a group within each such tour is capped at 2.

·       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.

 

 

9.       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.

10.   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.

11.   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

12.   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.

 

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

FAQs for Tours Re-opening

Manual for Tour Operators and Tourist Guides

 

SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

Updated as of 22 July 2021

 

[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 legislatively exempted.

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