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5 May 2021

Cross Sector Questions

 
Gradual Resumption of Business Activities

1. What are the plans for the resumption of business activities?

Businesses will resume activities in a phased manner:

2. Are tourism businesses permitted to resume operations?

As part of the resumption of activities in Phase 3, more tourism businesses and activities in Singapore have resumed operations. For the list of tourism businesses that are permitted to resume, please visit https://www.stb.gov.sg/content/stb/en/home-pages/permitted-tourism-businesses.html.

Attractions, tour operators and tourist guides are required to submit their reopening proposals to STB for assessment. Operators must demonstrate effective implementation of safe management measures (SMMs) to provide a safe environment for customers and workers, and may resume operations only after receiving approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). These proposals must include SMMs that are tailored to reduce the COVID-19 transmission risks at each attraction or tour. Please refer to the advisories for attractions and tours for the full list of requirements.

Hotels may apply to STB to reopen recreation areas for children (e.g. Kids' Club) and provide accommodation to guests for the purposes of leisure (e.g. staycations). Hotels may submit their application to STB for assessment and may only resume these business activities and related marketing efforts after receiving approval from MTI. Hotels that wish to resume these activities must comply with the required SMMs. Please refer to the advisory for hotels for the full list of requirements.

MICE Event Organisers and venues (collectively, EOs) must submit a joint application and event proposal for STB’s assessment. EOs must demonstrate the readiness and capabilities to implement SMMs required to meet the five outcomes to pilot MICE events in a safe and controlled manner. If STB is satisfied with the proposal, MTI will give the EO approval to carry out the event. Details on the types of events currently permissible can be found here. With effect from 28 September 2020, companies can organise consumer-facing events such as product launches, store openings and marketing/ branding events within its own premises. Prevailing SMMs apply and can be found here.

Support for COVID-19

1. What assistance measures are there for businesses?

STB has been working closely with the industry to create and pilot new tourism products and experiences to drive domestic demand, and prepare for international recovery.

Since the first set of measures that was implemented to help tourism businesses in February 2020, the Government has introduced several measures to help the tourism industry cope with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. For full details, refer to https://www.mof.gov.sg/singaporebudget

Tourism businesses should take full advantage of the support provided to stabilise their operations, manage their cash flow, transform their businesses, grow and deepen their manpower capabilities and keep workers employed. The measures that tourism businesses can tap on can be found here.

Support will also be given to help businesses and individuals defray third-party professional cleaning and disinfection costs for premises with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Full details here.

The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act seeks to provide temporary relief to those who are unable to perform their contractual obligations because of COVID-19 and the resulting safe distancing measures. For the full list of specific contracts covered under this Bill, or for more information, please refer to the Ministry of Law’s website or STB’s website.

The Ministry of Health has also 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 the Ministry of Health’s website for more details on the QOA scheme.  

2. How will the extension on the Job Support Scheme (JSS) be useful to businesses in the tourism sector?

JSS provides wage support for employers to retain their local employees during this period of economic uncertainty. All active employers, with the exception of Government organisations (local and foreign) and representative offices, are eligible for the JSS. Under the COVID-19 Resilience Package, the scheme will be further extended and provide continued support for businesses and workers by covering wages paid from April to June 2021. The JSS support levels will be tapered based on the projected recovery of the various sectors. For more information, please refer to https://go.gov.sg/jss.

Travel Restrictions and Precautionary Measures

1. Who is allowed to enter Singapore?

Please visit the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's website for information on the groups that are allowed to enter Singapore and the relevant measures.

2. What are the latest measures for inbound travellers?

Please visit the Ministry of Health's website for the latest health advisory and measures for inbound travellers. The measures for inbound travellers can also be found here.

3. What are the requirements for travellers seeking to enter Singapore under the various travel arrangements?

Singapore is re-opening its borders to facilitate the resumption of international travel in a gradual and calibrated manner, with the necessary safeguards in place to ensure the health and well-being of our community and foreign visitors. Singapore has introduced the Air Travel Pass, Air Travel Bubble, Reciprocal Green/Fast Lanes and Connect@Singapore initiative to facilitate short-term visits into Singapore, and is piloting the Business Travel Pass. We are also trialling health protocols to facilitate travel for those attending selected MICE events in Singapore.

Where necessary, the border control measures will be updated depending on the situation. Please visit the SafeTravel website for the latest updates on the arrangements for travellers from different countries/territories.

Click here for updates on border restrictions for visitors travelling from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,Thailand, Fiji, Vietnam, UK and South Africa.

All travellers (including SCs and PRs) will need to take a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival in Singapore. The prevailing SHN requirements, including the PCR test at the end of the SHN, will continue.

Protecting our staff and visitors

1. Should frontline staff wear masks?

Everyone must wear a mask when outside of their homes. This applies to workers at all workplace premises.

2. What precautions should we adopt to ensure safe distancing?

Most activities are allowed to resume, subject to the following safe distancing principles:

a. As a default, measures should be in place to ensure that individuals maintain safe distancing of at least one metre at all times

b. Where not feasible or practical to apply one metre safe distancing between individuals, this one metre requirement can instead be enforced between groups, with each group made up of not more than five persons, and with no mixing of groups. Other safe management measures (SMMs) should also be in place.

Businesses must also comply with the SMMs outlined at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/general (“Safe Management Requirements”) and any sector-specific requirements which apply to them. Businesses should also refer to https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/requirements-for-safe-management-measures to continue to ensure safe workplaces. These requirements include the staggering of working and break hours, ensuring clear physical spacing of at least one metre between persons, and implementing SafeEntry to record the entry of all personnel and visitors. Strict checks will be conducted, and businesses that do not provide a safe workplace for our workers will have their operations suspended until they are able to do so.

Businesses and organisations are reminded to play their part to keep Singapore safe. Should they be unable to meet the safe management principles, businesses and organisations can engage the relevant agencies to seek approval for alternative safe distancing measures. Such businesses and activities should only open when they are ready. Businesses and organisations found to be flouting safe management principles may be required to close.

3. 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.

Business Costs

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

Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill, businesses and individuals who are unable to perform their contractual obligations due on or after 1 February 2020 because of COVID-19, will be given time to work out a solution with the other party without the threat or uncertainty of litigation or legal proceedings.

This provides temporary relief from legal action for up to six months. To claim relief, one party to a contract should serve a notification for relief on the other party.

However, it does not mean that obligations are postponed or are absolved. Parties may still be charged interest or penalties if they delay in performance or fail to perform.

This Bill applies to specific contracts entered into or renewed before 25 March 2020.

For the full list of specific contracts covered under this Bill, or for more information, please refer to the Ministry of Law’s website or STB’s website.

Sector Specific Questions

 
Hotels

1. Are staycations allowed?

Hotels may apply to STB to resume the provision of accommodation to guests for the purposes of leisure (e.g. staycations). Any hotel that wishes to apply must comply with the safe management measures required for hotels. Please refer to the advisory for hotels for the full list of requirements.

Hotels must submit their application to STB for assessment. Hotels may resume the provision of accommodation to guests for the purposes of leisure and related marketing efforts only after receiving approval from MTI. 

The list of approved hotels can be found here.

2. Can marriage solemnisations and receptions be held at my premises?

From 8 May through 30 May 2021:

Marriage solemnisations may proceed with up to 250 attendees in total (including the wedding couple, excluding the Licensed Solemniser and vendors) for the entire event in zones of up to 50 attendees, with the following pre-event testing requirements:

  1. For solemnisation-only events involving more than 50 attendees, pre-event testing will be required for the wedding couple only.
  2. For wedding receptions involving more than 50 attendees, pre-event testing will be required for all attendees (including the wedding couple). 

Marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions involving 50 or fewer attendees do not require pre-event testing.

The pre-event test must be done: (i) Before entry to the solemnisation or wedding reception; and (ii) At most 24 hours before the end of one’s participation at the event.

Organisers of solemnisations and wedding receptions should ensure that pre-event testing requirements are met for such events involving more than 50 attendees. PET for all events, including solemnisations and receptions, will not be funded by the government; organisers or individuals are responsible for paying for their own tests.

Please refer to MOH’s guidelines at moh.gov.sg/covid-19/pet for more information on pre-event testing. More details will be uploaded when ready.

All marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions will continue to be subject to the prevailing safe management measures, such as zonal/ time slot requirements and safe distancing rules.

Travel Agents, Tour Operators and Tourist Guides

1. Are tours permitted? 

Domestic tour operators and tourist guides can submit their applications to resume operations. Tour operators and tourist guides can submit their application to STB_TID@stb.gov.sg, and may only resume carrying out tour activities after receiving approval from MTI. Please refer to the advisory for tours for the full list of requirements.

The list of approved tour operators and tourist guides can be found here.

2. What are the assistance measures for tourist guides?

Training Allowance for Tourist Guides

Together with the Ministry of Manpower, the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) announced the NTUC Training Fund on 26 March 2020 to help Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) supplement their income and prepare them to be future-ready through skills upgrading and training. The training allowance of $600 for 80 completed hours of training has been superseded by the NTUC Training Fund. For more information, please refer to NTUC's website. You can also contact NTUC at 6474 0606 or send an email to SEP2020@e2i.com.sg for clarifications.

Test Fees

Test fees for Multi-language Proficiency Test will be waived until 31 December 2021.

Licence Fees

Licence renewal fees will be waived for all tourist guide licences due or paid between 2 February 2020 and 31 December 2021.

COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG)

The CRG provides temporary financial support to workers in lower to middle-income households who experienced involuntary no-pay leave or income loss due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Applications will be open from 18 January 2021. More information can be found at go.gov.sg/crg.

Amendments to Travel Agents Legislation

With effect from 31 December 2020, the following amendments to the Travel Agents Legislation will be extended by one year:

  • The minimum net value requirement for travel agents holding a general licence or niche licence will be reduced by 90% to $10,000 or $5,000 respectively, till 31 December 2021.
  • All travel agents may submit auditor-certified accounts in lieu of audited statement of accounts for financial year ending on or after 1 March 2020, as well as the following financial year. Auditor-certified accounts must be reported in accordance with the Singapore Standard on Review Engagement – SSRE 2400 by an independent auditor.

You can read the full subsidiary legislation here. For more information, please email us at stb_ta@stb.gov.sg.

 

EVENTS

Updated as of 5 May 2021. 

IMPORTANT

As announced by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) on 4 May 2021, for the period of 8 May to 30 May 2021 (both dates inclusive): 

  • MICE event pilots must not have more than 250 participants at a time;
  • MICE event pilots with more than 100 participants at a time must implement mandatory Pre-Event Testing (PET) for all participants (local and foreign) except for exempted individuals [1]; and 
  • Adhere to national prevailing guideline E.g. in groups not more than 5 participants

All information on PET can be found on MOH’s website: https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/pet

Up to 100 participants at a time

 

101 to 250 participants at a time

 

Up to 50 pax per zone

Safe distancing of at least 1metre between individuals at all times

PET required for all foreign participants who are on a Controlled Itinerary, and any local residents and Business Travel Pass (BTP) holders with recent travel history.

 

 PET required for all participants*

 

*Local residents who have completed the full COVID-19 vaccination regimen (with a further two weeks from the second dose to develop sufficient protection) are exempted from pre-event testing. More information on PET exemptions can be found at https://go.gov.sg/pet

 

Event Organisers may continue to submit applications for MICE event pilots with up to 750 participants happening on or after 31 May 2021. However, please note that all approvals and MICE event pilots will still be subject to the prevailing safe management measures at the time. 
 

A: PERMISSIBLE EVENTS

1.    What constitutes a MICE event?

a.    MICE events refer to business-oriented events such as meetings, conferences and exhibitions arranged or held in the course of business [2] with more than 50 participants which are not held for individual consumers to attend. Events that are substantially social, recreational, political or religious in character, such as company D&Ds, networking events or gala dinners, do not fall within the MICE events contemplated here.

b.   Following the Multi-Ministry Taskforce’s (MTF) announcement on 24 March 2021 on the launch of the pre-event testing (PET) framework, businesses can apply to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to organise the following pilot events:

i.B2B events with more than 250 but no more than 750 participants at a time, with PET for all participants. For events between 8 and 30 May 2021 (both dates inclusive), capacity limits of up to 250 participants at a time (5 zones of 50 at a time) must be adhered to;  

ii. B2B events with more than 50 but no more than 250 participants at a time.

With effect from 24 April 2021, Event Organisers (EOs) can also apply to organise B2B events where cohorting into sub-cohorts of 20 pax is no longer required.  

MICE event pilots on or after 31 May 2021

Up to 250 pax at a time

251 to 750 pax at a time

 

Up to 50 pax per zone

Safe distancing of at least 1metre between individuals at all times

PET required for all foreign participants who are on a Controlled Itinerary, and any local residents and Business Travel Pass (BTP) holders with recent travel history. 

 PET required for all participants*

*Local residents who have completed the full COVID-19 vaccination regimen (with a further two weeks from the second dose to develop sufficient protection) are exempted from pre-event testing.
 More information on PET exemptions can be found at https://go.gov.sg/pet

 

 


c.    All B2B event applications with more than 50 participants must be submitted to STB for approval by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).  EOs must demonstrate their ability to implement the rigorous Safe Management Measures (SMMs) under STB’s Safe Business Events (SBE) framework [3]. 

d.    Work-related events also do not fall within the MICE events contemplated here. These include consumer-facing events (such as product launches, marketing / branding events) and work meetings (among colleagues or with external parties), training, board meetings, HR talks, townhalls, seminars, corporate retreats, Annual/Extraordinary General Meetings, tender briefings to vendors and award ceremonies. The Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) had previously announced that work-related events of up to 50 persons are permitted to be held outside of workplaces/own premises with effect from 22 October 2020. More details on the MTF’s announcement can be found here. FAQs on the Ministry of Manpower’s Workplace SMMs can be found here.
            

2.      What events are currently permitted^?

Updated as of 4 May 2021

 

Venues

Event Type

Within workplace/ enterprise’s own premises

Third party venues

(i.e. Venues outside of workplaces/enterprise’s own premises) e.g. function rooms

Work-related events

  • Up to 50 persons* at any time or the maximum number of individuals which the room or venue may accommodate if there is a distance of at least one metre between any 2 individuals, whichever is lower; and
  • At least 1 metre spacing between individuals at all times
E.g. Conferences, seminars, corporate retreats, Annual General Meetings, Extraordinary General Meetings, tender briefings to vendors, commemorative ceremonies, ground-breaking ceremonies, award and promotion ceremonies. Participants may include external parties such as business associates, customers as well as members of associations etc.

*
 Excludes premises staff at third party venues

In- house training without 3rd party service provider


Training & educational courses by Education Business

 

 
  • Up to 50 persons** at any time, or the maximum number of individuals which the room or venue may accommodate if there is a distance of at least one metre between any 2 individuals, whichever is lower; and 
  • At least 1 metre spacing between individuals at all times 

E.g.  Company holding training for employees within the office compound 

E.g. Company engaging training provider to conduct training for employees in one of the office meeting rooms/auditorium

E.g. Company engaging training provider to conduct training for employees at a hotel function room

E.g. Company holding training for employees at hotel function room

**Excludes premises staff at third party venues

Consumer-facing events

  • Up to the premises’ venue operating capacity, subject to the implementation of safe management measures
  • Up to prevailing group size limit of 5 customers per group
  • At least 1 metre spacing between groups of 5 or fewer customers (prevailing group size) at all times

 

E.g. Product launches, store openings and marketing and branding events at enterprise’s retail premises.

 

  • Up to 50 persons (including all persons and vendors except premises staff) at any time

or

  • The maximum number of individuals the room or venue may accommodate to ensure a distance of at least one metre between any 2 individuals, whichever is lower

  • Up to prevailing group size limit of 5 customers per group
  • At least 1 metre spacing between groups of 5 or fewer customers (prevailing group size) at all times


E.g. Product launches, roadshows fairs, marketing and branding events at hotel function rooms

Roadshows/ fairs are not allowed at public transport nodes, HDB areas, mall atriums, etc. These events are only permitted in hired function centres.


^Please note that the prevailing respective sector specific requirements and Safe Management Measures under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 and the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Performances and Other Activities – Control Order) Regulations 2020 continue to apply.

Workplace events which are substantially recreational or social in nature (such as gala dinners, networking functions, company D&Ds) are currently not permitted.

Eating and drinking should be avoided at these events as these activities require masks to be removed which raises the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Meals should not be the main feature of the event. Employers should also avoid holding events over mealtimes as far as possible. Food or drinks should only be served if incidental to the workplace event (e.g. the meeting or conference extends over lunch time). However, if meals are necessary, participants must be seated and served individually and minimise contact with one another while eating or drinking. Safe distancing also needs to be maintained during the meal. Meal durations should be kept short to minimise the period that individuals are unmasked. Any pre-recorded music, speech or sound played at these events should not exceed 60 decibels in any part of the room or place where food or drinks are served or consumed. Higher risk activities such as singing, and the playing of wind/brass instruments are also not allowed to resume at corporate/enterprise events.

Please see details on the updated Requirements for Safe Management Measures (SMMs) at the Workplace by the Ministry of Manpower here. Separately, you may find the FAQs on Workplace SMMs here.

 

B: MICE EVENT PILOTS

3.    How can we start organising a MICE event under STB’s MICE event pilots?

a.    For MICE events of up to 750 participants [4] at a time with PET under the STB Safe Business Events Framework, Event Organisers and Event Venues (collectively, EOs) must submit a joint application, including an event proposal to STB. For events between 8 and 30 May 2021 (both dates inclusive), capacity limits of up to 250 participants at a time (5 zones of 50 at a time) must be adhered to. 

b.    EOs must demonstrate the readiness and capabilities to implement the Safe Management Measures (SMMs) required to meet the five outcomes to pilot MICE events in a safe and controlled manner

c.     STB and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”) will review the submitted event proposal and EOs may proceed only upon obtaining MTI’s approval.

                              

STB MICE Event Pilots

Adherence to Safe Business Events (SBE) Framework

Location

Third Party Venues

(e.g. External venues such as function rooms in hotels or convention centres, or attractions)

Event Type 

Meetings, Conferences, Exhibitions

  • Not consumer facing (B2C) (e.g. roadshows, product launches, fairs, marketing and branding events etc.)
  • Not predominantly social in nature
  • Not predominantly internal facing (e.g. attended by employees only

 

Examples

A business-oriented event attended by professionals or business entities to exchange knowledge or to discuss a particular subject, a trade association convening for an education session or panel discussion etc.

Safe Management Measures (SMMs)

Comply with STB’s Safe Business Events (SBE) Framework

 

Zone/ Groups

  • Limited to ≤ 5 pax per group (for unmasked activities)
  • Limited to ≤ 50 pax per zone

4.    How do I apply? How long is the application process?

a.    The application form must be jointly completed by both the Event Organiser and Event Venue (collectively, EOs).

b.    We strongly encourage EOs to submit their applications as early as possible (preferably 3 months in advance) to cater sufficient time for planning, registration and marketing. Minimally, EOs should submit their application at least 1 month before the event date. 

c.     Each MICE event and its related marketing efforts may be carried out only after receiving approval from STB and MTI.  

d.    Please note that STB and MTI will take up to 14 business days to assess each application.

e.      STB will begin accepting applications for events of up to 750 participants at a time from 24 April 2021.  

5.  Can I apply for my event (up to 750 participants) which is scheduled for the later part of the year to resume? I would need to start event planning, production and marketing.

a.    Yes.  Please refer to the application process and processing times in para 4 above.

6.  Is Pre-Event Testing (PET) required at MICE event pilots? Who is exempted from PET?

Applicable for MICE event pilots happening on or after 31 May 2021 

             

B2B events of up to 250 participants at one time

B2B events of up to 750 participants  at one time

Local participants                  

PET not required for local participants* [5]

*Local residents and BTP holders with recent travel history (i.e. within the last 14 days) are required to undergo PET.

PET required for all participants*

 

*Exemptions from PET are detailed in the following table

 

Foreign participants

Foreign participants who are on a Controlled Itinerary (“CI”) are required to take a PET from an MOH-approved COVID-19 test provider up to 24-hours before the end of each event day [6] (the “Validity Period”). EOs must ensure that participants on CI have a valid negative COVID-19 test result from a MOH- approved COVID-19 test provider within the Validity Period to participate in each event day.

Other COVID-19 tests (e.g. PCR tests) done pursuant to other testing requirements (e.g. Reciprocal Green Lane, Rostered Routine Testing) can be used at entry checks, provided that the event is within the Validity Period.

a. Event Organisers/Relevant Enterprises must ensure that all participants entering or remaining in the event venue, where PET is required, must have a negative test result. This excludes the following individuals, who are not required to undergo PET. 
 

S/N 

  Exemptions from PET 

1.                                                           

Recovered Attendees/Patrons with PET Exemption Notice 

a) 270 days from the date of the earliest PCR+ result performed in Singapore or

b) 270 days from overseas PCR+ result if Serology+ result obtained in Singapore
 

 

2

Vaccinated Attendees/Patrons who have completed the full vaccination regimen in Singapore and have had sufficient   time to develop sufficient protection (i.e. two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccination)

3

Individuals who may not fulfil the criteria in S/N 1 and 2 above but enter or remain at the venue solely: 

a) to deliver goods or provide services connected with the event, business, or activity, undertaking work related to the event and carried on within the venue;

E.g. Third-party vendors contracted by the event organiser or venue and do not intermingle [7] with participants. Examples include: 

(i) AV vendors
(ii) IT technicians
(iii) Caterers
(iv) Booth stand contractors employed by the EO/exhibitors
(v) Official event photographers

 

b) to work as a permitted enterprise or permitted enterprise worker, for or with the occupier of the restricted place;

E.g. Event organiser or venue staff who do not intermingle with participants. Examples include:

(i) Registration staff
(ii) Janitors
(iii) Banquet staff
 

c) to render assistance in an emergency at the venue;

E.g. Emergency services such as ambulance staff, police, firefighters etc.
 

d) to execute an order of a court or a direction given by or on behalf of a public officer or a public body in exercise of a power under any written law. 

E.g. Enforcement officers, Safe Distancing Ambassadors deployed by STB

b. For more information on the procedures and protocols for PET at MICE pilot events, please refer to the Event Organisers’ guide to PET here: https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/pet.  

7.     Does the EO have to ensure a valid PET result at each entry/exit point to the MICE event venue for MICE pilot events spanning multiple days and venues?

a. For MICE pilot events that require PET, EOs must ensure that signages are displayed prominently at every exit and entry point(s) of the event venue (including emergency exits) specifying that access to the MICE event venue is restricted to participants who have  a negative test result or have fulfilled the conditions for exemptions from PET in para 6a. 

b. EOs must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure an individual who does not fulfil the conditions for exemptions from PET in para 6a and not able to present an Acceptable Document [8] does not enter or remain at the MICE event venue. EOs must refuse entry if the individual refuses to show the proof of Acceptable Document or being exempted when asked. Refer to MOH PET website [9] for the list of Acceptable Documents. 

c.  EO must ensure that the identity reflected in the Acceptable Documents corresponds with the identity of the individual being checked for entry.


8.     Are there limitations to the event venues allowed under the STB MICE event pilots?

a. There is no restriction to the types of event venues allowed as long as the venues can be hired as a function centre and are able to comply with SG Clean standards as well as implement measures under the Safe Business Events Framework.

9.   Can foreign delegates attend MICE events in Singapore? 

a. Singapore has implemented travel arrangements with some countries to facilitate travel while safeguarding public health.

b. Foreign delegates from these countries may submit their request to enter Singapore through such arrangements to attend approved MICE pilot events.

c. While in Singapore, foreign delegates on a Controlled Itinerary (“CI”) must pre-declare their movements and adhere to certain movement restrictions as stipulated under the CI. As part of the CI, they may also be required to undergo PCR tests on specified days of their visit. 

d. Additionally, all foreign participants who are on a CI will also be required to undergo daily PET (regardless of event size) before they can enter a MICE event. Other COVID-19 tests (e.g. PCR tests) done pursuant to other testing requirements (e.g. Reciprocal Green Lane, Rostered Routine Testing) can be used at entry checks, provided that the event is within the Validity Period.

e. Please refer to ICA’s website for the list of countries and the respective requirements here

10.   Do event organisers need to confirm the venue before submitting the application form?

a. Yes, the application will need to be jointly submitted by the Event Organiser and Event Venue (collectively, EOs).

b. Any application received without the relevant information pertaining to the venue will be rejected. 

If the venue is changed after the application is submitted or approved, EOs will need to re-submit the event application. Should this happen, please note that the application processing time will also be affected. 

11.   Can I host multiple sessions of 750 participants per event?

a. As announced by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) on 4 May 2021, for the period of 8 May to 30 May 2021 (both dates inclusive):

i. MICE event pilots must not have more than 250 participants at a time;
ii. MICE event pilots with more than 100 participants at a time must implement mandatory Pre-Event Testing (PET) for all participants (local and foreign); and
iii. Adhere to national prevailing guideline E.g. in groups not more than 5 participants

b. From 24 April 2021, STB started accepting applications for organisers to pilot MICE events of up to 750 participants at a time (15 zones of 50pax) with PET, an increase from 250 participants across the entire duration of a MICE event previously

c. With this, MICE events can now host more than one session of up to 750 participants on the same event day or across multiple event days, with the relevant Safe Management Measures in place. Illustration of a MICE event programme with >1 session:
 

 

Illustration for a 750-pax event with PET

Illustration for a 250-pax event without PET

Time                         

Activity

9am – 12pm

Session A (15 zones of 50pax)

Session A (5 zones of 50 pax) 

12pm – 1pm

Crowd dispersal and disinfection

Crowd dispersal and disinfection

1pm – 5pm

Session B (15 zones of 50pax)

Session B (5 zones of 50 pax)


d. For avoidance of doubt, EOs can continue to hold single-session events (i.e. 1 session of up to 15 zones x 50pax).

e. STB will continue to monitor and review the implementation of SMMs at such events.

12.   Should participants remain in the same zone throughout the whole event? What if my event takes place across multiple days?

a. Local and foreign participants who are not on a Controlled Itinerary may be assigned to a different zone for each new session of an event. For example, a local participant may be assigned to different zones for the morning and afternoon sessions of the same event, on the same day. This will also allow new participants to join on different sessions/ days.

b. If a zone includes any foreign participants on a Controlled Itinerary, all participants must remain in that same zone throughout each event day, regardless of the number of sessions per day. For multi-day events, foreign participants may be assigned to a different zone for each new event day. 

13.   How will the SMMs apply to events with an exhibition component?

a. Organisers are allowed to include a manned exhibition component in their event applications. Please refer to the updated Safe Business Events Framework.

14.    Do the capacity limits of 250 participants and 750 participants include exhibitors? 

a. Yes, the capacity limits apply to all participants at the event, except EO staff, staff employed by the venue (e.g. janitors, security) and external service providers. For avoidance of doubt, EO staff who are also participating in the event (e.g. as speakers, audience members, etc) are considered participants and must be included in the total operating capacity.

15.    When will large scale business events be allowed to resume?

a.  Since 1 October 2020, STB has been accepting applications for organisers to pilot MICE events of up to 5 zones of 50 participants (250 pax), with participants to be divided into cohorts of 20. 

b.  On 24 March 2021, Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced that businesses may apply with STB to pilot larger business-to-business (B2B) events with pre-event testing (PET). Event Organisers must demonstrate their ability to implement the rigorous SMMs under STB’s Safe Business Events (SBE) framework [10]. STB will begin accepting applications for events of up to 750 participants at a time from 24 April 2021. 

c. The safe resumption of MICE events requires close coordination and partnership between public and private sector stakeholders. Given the need to act quickly and decisively in order for our economy to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, the Emerging Stronger Taskforce [11] (EST) under the Future Economy Council (FEC) has convened the Singapore Together Alliances for Action (“Alliances”), which are industry-led, Government-supported coalitions that will act quickly by prototyping ideas on key opportunity areas for Singapore.

d. Recognising health and safety as key imperatives, the Alliance on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences has developed a prototype for safe tradeshows and exhibitions – these are larger events which would not have been permitted to resume in their pre-COVID-19 format. The prototype has been developed in partnership with the private sector and will provide delegates with the degree of interaction they would normally be accustomed to in a regular tradeshow setting – but in a far safer way which minimises infection risks. This was first tested at a new event in November 2020 called TravelRevive – powered by ITB Asia & STB. 

e. STB will continue to support the resumption of business events in a safe and calibrated manner and will advise on the general resumption of larger-scale events in due course.
 

C: OTHER EVENT RELATED QUERIES

16.    What is the role of the Event Organiser and Event Venue? Who would be penalised in the event of a contravention?

a. Both the Event Organiser and Event Venue are jointly responsible for the events taking place under their purview. In the event of any contravention, Enforcement Officers will investigate the facts and circumstances leading to the contravention to determine which party is liable, or if both parties are liable.

17.    As a venue operator, can I have multiple events at my venue?

a. Yes. If multiple concurrent events are taking place in the same facility (more than 930sqm), the event venue must ensure that the overall density capacity requirement of at least 8sqm per participant is met.

b. If the overall event facility demarcated for use by events is less than 930sqm, your event venue is not bound by the operating capacity of 8sqm per participant. Please note that you will need to comply with the Safe Business Events Framework. The event venue and respective EOs must work out a plan to stagger the movement of participants within each zone to ensure that participants of each zone would not be able to intermingle with participants from other zones.

18.    Are live performances permitted at MICE event pilots?

a. Live performances are currently not permitted as part of the overall programming for the MICE event pilots. 

D: FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR MICE EOs

19.    
What are some of the financial assistance available for EOs?

i.     Marketing and Visitor Experience

a.    MICE Event Organisers (EO) can tap on the Marketing Partnership Programme (MPP). This programme aims to support MICE EOs in their international marketing initiatives, market and maintain international presence and position Singapore as the choice destination for business events. The programme also supports EOs in their marketing efforts for virtual or hybrid events with the aim of driving international attendance for their next physical event in Singapore.

b.    EOs with new products and experiences which will improve the overall visitor experience and increase the attractiveness of Singapore to visitors can tap on the Experience Step-Up Fund (ESF). Some examples include the development of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) products which showcase Singapore during the conference, contactless technology which enhance delegate experience etc.

ii.    Technology and Innovation

c.    Separately, there is the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) under Enterprise Singapore (ESG) which encourages enterprises to continue digitalisation and productivity upgrading efforts. EOs can refer to the list of supportable solutions and identify relevant solutions that best suit your business needs on the PSG website. Some of the pre-scoped IT solutions and equipment include virtual meeting and telephony tools, temperature screening solutions, video analytics for crowd management, autonomous floor cleaner, fleet management, etc to support local enterprises in their digitalisation and productivity efforts.

d.    If you’re taking this period to rethink your company’s current business models or redesign your work processes to be more efficient, there is the Business Improvement Fund (BIF) which aims to encourage technology innovation and adoption to improve productivity and competitiveness. Companies could also leverage on technologies and customised solutions to make routine tasks more efficient. These could include the development of an integrated e-registration system to serve the needs of your clients, automation of cleaning processes at event venues which integrates Artificial Intelligence (AI) navigation to clean floors without human intervention, or customised hybrid meeting solutions which enable simultaneous broadcast of multiple sessions on a single platform etc.
 

iii.    Financing Schemes

e.    Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can also consider the Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan (EFS-WCL) and Temporary Bridging Loan Programme under Enterprise Singapore to seek help with working capital and cashflow needs.
 

[1] Please refer to question 6 for the list of exempted individuals.

[2] (a) to discuss or negotiate matters relating to trade, commerce or finance, professional practice or matters, health, arts, science, technology, industry, economics, industrial relations, security, international affairs, the environment or any other cause or matter, whether or not of a similar kind; (b) to temporarily exhibit or display goods of any kind for the purposes of sale or supply; or (c) to promote the trading of goods or the provision of services. 

[3] Under STB’s Safe Business Events framework introduced in July 2020 for events of up to 50 participants, EOs must achieve five key outcomes. The framework was created in consultation with the industry and is aligned with international best practices. More information here

[4] Participants of the event include attendees, exhibitors, media attending the event, speakers, participants’ liaison officers, etc. EO staff who are also participating in the event (e.g. as speakers, audience members, etc) are included in the total operating capacity. All other EO staff and external service providers are excluded.

[5] Participants exclude EO and premise staff. For avoidance of doubt, EO staff who are also participating in the event (e.g. as speakers, audience members, etc.) are considered participants and must be included in the total operating capacity.

[6] The Validity Period of a pre-event test is 24-hours before the end of each event day. If the event day ends at 5:00pm, the participant must take his/her pre-event test no earlier than 5:00pm the day before.

[7] Transient intermingling at the event space, common walkways, entry and exit points, lift lobbies and toilets are allowed. EOs must implement a detailed cleaning and disinfecting schedule and ensure event spaces and common areas including high-touch areas are cleaned regularly.

[8] The list of Acceptable Document can be found on https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/pet

[9] https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/pet

[10] Under STB’s Safe Business Events framework introduced in July 2020 for events of up to 50 participants, EOs must achieve five key outcomes. The framework was created in consultation with the industry and is aligned with international best practices. More information here.

[11] The Emerging Stronger Taskforce (EST) was formed under the Future Economy Council (FEC) to review how Singapore can stay economically resilient and build new sources of dynamism to emerge stronger from COVID-19. The EST is co-chaired by Minister for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee and Group CEO of PSA International, Mr Tan Chong Meng, and comprises 15 members from various sectors, including businesses and trade associations and chambers.

Cruise

Singapore has ceased port calls for all cruise vessels. For further information on enhanced measures for cruise lines, please contact MPA Port Operation Control Centre at 62213127 or email the Cruise Division from STB at STB_CRUISE@stb.gov.sg.

1. Should we give refunds to passengers who cancel their cruise bookings because of COVID-19?

Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill, businesses and individuals who are unable to perform their contractual obligations due on or after 1 February 2020 because of COVID-19, will be given time to work out a solution with the other party without the threat or uncertainty of litigation or legal proceedings.

This provides temporary relief from legal action for up to six months. To claim relief, one party to a contract should serve a notification for relief on the other party.

However, it does not mean that obligations are postponed or are absolved. Parties may still be charged interest or penalties if they delay in performance or fail to perform.

This Bill applies to specific contracts entered into or renewed before 25 March 2020.

For the full list of specific contracts covered under this Bill, or for more information, please refer to the Ministry of Law’s website or STB’s website.

Attractions

1. Are attractions allowed to re-open?

Tourism businesses in Singapore have been permitted to resume operations in stages from 1 July 2020.

All attractions must submit their re-opening proposals to STB for assessment prior to re-opening, and may resume operations only after receiving approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Attractions should submit their re-opening proposals to STB_Attractions@stb.gov.sg. Please refer to the advisory for attractions for the full list of requirements.

The list of permitted attractions can be found here.

Retail

1. Are retail establishments allowed to re-open?

Most retail establishments have reopened their physical outlets. Large public venues with high human traffic such as malls and standalone retail outlets are subject to capacity limits and operators are required to prevent crowds or long queues from building up within and in the immediate vicinity of their premises.

The list of businesses that are allowed to resume can be found here: https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/permittedlist/. Retail establishments that are permitted to remain open must implement Safe Management Measures, as required by the Ministry of Manpower and comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations. In addition, retail establishments are required to comply with the measures set out here.

Dining

1. Which F&B outlets are allowed to open? 

  • F&B establishments[1] can provide dine-in services, provided there is no provision of Public Entertainment[2] 
  • Sale and consumption of alcohol in all F&B establishments are prohibited after 2230hrs daily. This includes consumption at any outdoor refreshment area and/or tables/chairs [3] owned or managed by such establishment. As a best practice, by around 2200hrs, F&B operators should cease the sale of alcohol as a dine-in service and remind patrons to consume their alcohol by 2230hrs.
  • Live music, radio broadcasts, all forms of television or video screenings [4] are not allowed in all F&B outlets. Recorded music may be played only as soft background music. This must not be louder than 60 decibels. As a gauge, this would be the sound level of a regular conversation.

You can refer to https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/permittedlist/ to check if your business may resume. F&B establishments that are permitted to operate must implement Safe Management Measures, as required by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations. In addition, F&B establishments must comply with the measures set out here

[1]These would be F&B establishments that are issued food shop licences by SFA, with the exception of those with SFA food shop licences under the Pubs, Bars, Nightclubs and Discos categories or SSIC codes starting with 5613.

[2] Public Entertainment activities are as per defined under the Public Entertainments Act which includes singing or dancing by customers, darts, karaoke, billiard, pool, snooker and game machines and any machine or device by the manipulation of which chances are given of obtaining prizes in money or kind.  

[3] The furniture should be kept/secured in such manner after close of business. 

[4] Except for advisory videos related to safe management measures. Static images and a carousel of static images on a digital screen (e.g. of menus and promotional items) without sound are not considered to be TV/video screenings.

Entertainment

1. When will entertainment establishments be allowed to re-open?

Cinemas are allowed to reopen but they must adhere to the safe management measures for cinemas.  

Entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, discotheques and karaoke outlets are still not allowed to re-open in their original form.