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UPDATED CIRCULAR ON SAFE MANAGEMENT MEASURES REQUIRED FOR TOURS RE-OPENING IN PHASE 3

1.       Singapore commenced Phase 3 of re-opening on 28 December 2020, which allowed for further resumption of activities in the community.

2.       In Phase 3, 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”).  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 at Annex A of this document.

SUBMISSION OF TOUR ITINERARIES AND SCHEDULES FOR APPROVAL

3.       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.

4.       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.

5.       Tour operators and tourist guides who had 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.

6.       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 number of participants of 50 pax (excluding tourist guide). Participants must be split into groups, with the maximum number of pax in each group capped at the prevailing maximum permissible group size

·       For conveyance-assisted tours, capacity on board all conveyance must 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 that the maximum number of pax in a group is capped at prevailing maximum permissible group size and maintain a safe distance of at least one metre between groups. Ensure 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

 

B.    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

 

C.    Reduce Surface Transmission Risk

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

 

 

7.       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.

8.       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.

9.       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

10.   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

Manual for Tour Operators and Tourist Guides

 

SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

Updated as of 14 April 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.