TOP
7 Feb 2020

Cross Sector Questions


Support for COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)
  1. What assistance measures are there for businesses?

    As the first step in a wider set of measures to help tourism business mitigate the immediate impact of the COVID-19 virus, STB will waive licence fees for hotels, travel agents and tourist guides, and defray enhanced cleaning costs of hotels that provided accommodation to confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases. Please refer to STB’s press release for more information.

 

Travel Restrictions and Precautionary Measures
  1. Do the entry restrictions apply to travellers to the Special Administrative Regions of China?

    No, the travel ban and precautionary measures apply to new visitors who have travelled to mainland China in the past 14 days.

  2. What is a Leave of Absence (LOA)?

    A LOA is a precautionary measure intended to prevent possible transmissions of infections.

    Individuals who have been put on a leave of absence should stay at home and avoid social contact. They should avoid crowded places and attending social or public gatherings, so as to minimise close contact with others. They should monitor their health closely, and seek medical attention if they develop any fever or symptoms of acute respiratory illness such as cough or shortness of breath.

    Please refer to MOH’s Health Advisory for Persons Placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) for more details.

  3. Do the entry restrictions apply to all travellers?

    The following returning groups will be allowed entry:

    1. Singapore Citizens;
    2. Permanent Residents (PRs); and
    3. Long-term pass holders (including Work Passes and Permits, Student Pass, Dependant’s Pass and Long-Term Visit Pass).
  4. What should businesses do if they have employees who have travelled to China / are planning to travel to China?

    Businesses are advised to obtain health and travel declarations from employees on whether they have travelled to China recently, or if they have any upcoming travel plans to China. Businesses are advised to defer all travel to Hubei Province and non-essential travel to mainland China.

    Employees with recent travel history to mainland China will be required to go on a 14-day LOA, where they have to stay at home and avoid social contact. Employers and employees must ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA. MOM may take action against the employer or employee if they do not discharge their responsibility.

    Employers and employees are strongly urged to exercise necessary precautions at the workplace to prevent spread of COVID-19. Employers and employees should adopt additional precautions such as stepping up the cleaning of the workplace and avoiding contact with persons who are unwell, particularly for businesses which have frontline workers serving customers. For more details on the precautions that employers and employees can take, please refer to the MOM website (https://www.mom.gov.sg)

  5. What should I do if there is no space or spare dormitories within my institution to segregate staff who have returned from mainland China?

    There is no need to segregate staff who have returned from Mainland China. The leave of absence is intended to mitigate potential risks by minimising the time the individual spends at the workplace or educational institution. Instead, employers should monitor the health of those staff, and advise them to maintain good personal hygiene, and to seek medical attention if unwell.

  6. Who will be quarantined? How are employers affected?

    The following groups of people will be quarantined:

    • Individuals who have travelled to Hubei within the last 14 days
    • Returning PRs and long-term pass holders with PRC passports issued in Hubei
    • Recent travellers from Hubei who are already in Singapore – MOH will assess who among this group are at higher risk and will quarantine them

    Employees who are served a Quarantine Order will be deemed to be on paid hospitalisation leave, as part of the employees’ hospitalisation leave eligibility under their employment contracts or agreements.

  7. What about employees who have family members who returned from China recently? Will these individuals be subject to quarantine or LOA?

    Employers should monitor the health of their staff, and advise them to keep good personal hygiene and to seek medical attention if unwell. These individuals will not be subject to quarantine or LOA, but should follow MOH’s health advisory.

 

Work Passes
  1. Can existing work passes be renewed for foreign workers holding PRC passports?

    Yes, existing work passes can be renewed. However, if these employees have returned or have plans to return to mainland China, they will be quarantined upon their return to Singapore. In light of the rapidly evolving situation, employers are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and renew their work passes early, to retain their existing workers.

  2. Can individuals with in-principle approved work passes, who have travelled to mainland China within the last 14 days, enter Singapore?

    Yes. Work pass holders entering Singapore with travel history to mainland China (within the last 14 days) are required to take a 14-day LOA upon arrival in Singapore.

    Individuals arriving from Hubei or with a Hubei-issued passport will be quarantined upon entering Singapore.

 

Protecting our staff and visitors
  1. Should frontline staff wear masks?

    Masks are not needed for people who are well. Staff who are unwell should seek medical attention promptly and not report for work. Do inform the doctor of your travel history. If you have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath), please wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.

  2. Where can we buy masks?

    The government is sourcing for new suppliers and ramping up purchases for traditional sellers. Please note that masks are not needed for people who are well. Staff who are unwell should seek medical attention promptly and not report for work.

  3. What measures should we take to screen visitors?

    Employees should look out for customers with respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, and refer them to the nearest General Practitioner (GP) for medical treatment. For updated advisories and measures on COVID-19 please refer to the Ministry of Health (MOH) (https://www.moh.gov.sg).

  4. What do we do if a customer is a suspected case?

    Please refer your customers to the nearest General Practitioner (GP) for medical treatment. The GP will refer patients who meet the case definition for COVID-19 to the hospital via a dedicated ambulance for further assessment.

  5. Where do I get the latest information on the COVID-19 situation?

    For updated advisories and measures on COVID-19, please refer to the Ministry of Health (MOH) (https://www.moh.gov.sg).

  6. What precautions should we adopt for our employees?

    The health and safety of those who work in the tourism industry is our priority. MOH has advised travellers to avoid travel to Hubei province in China and to defer non-essential travel to Mainland China. Employers and employees are strongly urged to exercise necessary precautions at the workplace to prevent spread of COVID-19, such as stepping up cleaning of workplace premises, and avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.

    All employees are also required to conduct regular temperature taking and check whether they have respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose. Temperature should be taken at least twice daily, and anyone with fever or is unwell should leave the office immediately to see a doctor. Employers should also step up their business continuity plans, such as allowing employees to telecommute or dividing the workforce into segregated teams.

    For more details on additional precautionary measures that employees can take, please refer to Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website (https://www.mom.gov.sg).

 

Business Costs
  1. Will the Government be rolling out support measures for affected businesses?

    The Government is monitoring the situation closely, and working with the Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) and Unions to put in place the necessary support measures for our enterprises and workers. The Government is also studying how best to support the hospitality, tourism, retail, and food and beverage sectors, which have been especially hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

    As the first step in a wider set of measures to help tourism business mitigate the immediate impact of COVID-19, STB will waive licence fees for hotels, travel agents and tourist guides, and defray enhanced cleaning costs of hotels that provided accommodation to confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases. Please refer to STB’s press release for details.

    More information on the support measures for businesses and Singaporeans will be provided at a later date.

    On 29 January 2020, MOH set up the Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) Scheme to mitigate financial impact for those who have been served Quarantine Orders. Under the scheme, claims of $100 per day can be made by two groups:

    • Self-employed; and
    • Employers, who have employees issued with Quarantine Orders.

    Please refer to MOH’s website for more details on the QOA scheme.

    In the meantime, we recommend for businesses to start developing or updating their business continuity plans. A Business Continuity Guide has been prepared to help businesses in developing plans to deal with COVID-19. The guide will serve as a general reference for businesses in planning for a pandemic caused by influenza and other novel respiratory infections, and recommend actions that businesses may take at each alert code (as determined by the MOH). This guide is available on Enterprise Singapore’s website (www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/2019-ncov).

  2. How do we handle requests for refunds from affected customers?

    Decisions on refunds and cancellation policies are based on your commercial considerations as well as the terms and conditions of your contractual obligation to customers.

 

Sector Specific Questions

 


 

Hotels
  1. What do I do if I have a confirmed case from my hotel?

    If one of your guests is a confirmed case, MOH will contact you and advise you on the measures that you should take.

  2. How do we manage guests who are issued Quarantine Orders?

    MOH will issue Quarantine Orders to close contacts of confirmed cases. The Quarantine Orders are issued under the Infectious Diseases Act and have legal force, with severe penalties for non-compliance. Hotels can seek help/advice from MOH if required, by calling the MOH hotline at 63259220.

  3. Where can hotels buy masks in bulk?

    The government is sourcing for new suppliers and ramping up purchases for traditional sellers. Please note that masks are not needed for people who are well. Staff and hotel guests who are unwell should seek medical attention promptly.

 

Travel Agents/Tourist Guides
  1. Are there any guidelines for tourist guides conducting tours? Are we supposed to wear masks?

    Travel Agents and Tour Guides are strongly urged to exercise necessary precautions at the workplace to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They should also adopt additional precautionary measures as outlined such as stepping up cleaning of workplace premises.

    All employees and tour guides are also required to conduct regular temperature taking and check whether they have respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose. Temperature should be taken at least twice daily, and anyone with fever or is unwell should leave office/not conduct tours and go see a doctor.

    For more details on additional precautionary measures that employees can take, please refer to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website (https://www.mom.gov.sg)

    Masks are not needed for people who are well. Staff or guides who are unwell should seek medical attention promptly and not report for work.

 

Event Organisers
  1. Should I cancel my event?

    The health and safety of Singaporeans, visitors and those who work in the tourism industry are STB’s priority. We advise event organisers to take extra precautions when organising an event. Some measures include temperature screening, ensuring the event venue is well-ventilated, and provisions are made for hand washing facilities. Event organisers and participants are encouraged to abide by the various health guidelines outlined by MOH. EOs may refer to Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)'s advisory for businesses on large scale events for more information. (https://www.mti.gov.sg)

  2. What screening measures should I take for my event?

    • Carry out temperature screening;

    • Look out for respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, and deny entry to unwell individuals

    • Remind participants not to attend if the participants have recent travel history to mainland China, and require travel declaration, if possible

    • Ensure that event venues are ventilated and are adequately equipped with facilities for hand washing; and

    • Increase the frequency of cleaning commonly used areas; and

    • Maintain a registration list of participants, if practical.

    For updated advisories and measures on COVID-19, please refer to Ministry of Health (MOH) (https://www.moh.gov.sg).

 

Cruise
  1. How do we handle passengers from Mainland China?

    Singapore has taken mitigating measures to control the entry of visitors from China in Singapore. Cruise lines are strongly encouraged to contact such individuals prior to their departure date to advise them on the recent enhanced measures and make alternative arrangements for them.

    For further information on enhanced measures for cruise lines, please contact MPA Port Operation Control Centre at 62213127/Cruise Division from STB at STB_CRUISE@stb.gov.sg.

  2. What happens to the affected passenger should a cruise ship bring him into Singapore?

    For passengers who are not allowed entry into Singapore, the cruise company will be responsible for handling all alternative arrangements.

  3. Are there enhanced cleaning measures for cruise ships?

    Cruise lines are encouraged to ensure that the ship is disinfected for every sailing. You may also refer to the following link for the National Environment Agency (NEA) guidelines on cleaning measures for areas exposed to confirmed case(s) of COVID-19.

  4. Should we give refunds to passengers who cancel their cruise bookings because of the virus?

    Decisions on refunds and cancellation policies are based on your commercial considerations as well as the terms and conditions of your contractual obligation to customers.

 

Attractions
  1. What screening measures should I adopt for my attraction?

    Employees should look out for customers with respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, and refer them to the nearest General Practitioner (GP) for medical treatment. For updated advisories and measures on COVID-19, please refer to Ministry of Health (MOH) (https://www.moh.gov.sg).

  2. What do I do if I have a confirmed case that visited my attraction?

    Sanitise the high traffic common areas in accordance with the cleaning guidelines issued by NEA (www.nea.gov.sg Interim Guidelines for Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection). If required, assist MOH in contact tracing.

  3. How will STB help attractions that are affected by cancellations and decline in visitorship?

    STB is monitoring the situation and is working closely with the relevant agencies to assess the impact and provide the right support to help businesses.