1. When can face-to-face lessons at private residences, tuition centres and enrichment centres resume?
Face-to-face tuition and enrichment classes will be allowed to resume from Phase Two of the post-Circuit Breaker period, which will start on 19 June 2020. In line with the rest of the economy, they will be subject to safe management measures.
2. Are all types of tuition and enrichment classes allowed to resume?
Most face-to-face tuition and enrichment classes were allowed to resume from Phase Two, which started on 19 June 2020. In line with the rest of the economy, they are subject to safe management measures. For more information, please refer here.
Classes which involve activities with potentially higher risk of virus transmission through droplet spread (such as singing, voice projection, playing of wind or brass instruments or other instruments that require intentional expulsion of air) have been allowed to resume from 3 August 2020. They will be subject to additional safe management measures as seen here, in view of the higher risks involved.
3. What are the safe management measures that tuition and enrichment centres should be implementing?
To reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19, tuition and enrichment centres are required to abide by the nationwide safe management measures for workplaces issued on 9 May 2020. These include health checks and declarations for all employees and students, the use of SafeEntry to support contact tracing, and regular cleaning of common facilities and high-touch areas. More details are available at the MOE website and GoBusiness website.
4. Some tuition and enrichment classes involve high movement activities (e.g. sports, dance), or activities which carry a higher risk of virus transmission through droplet spread (e.g. singing, wind/brass instruments). What additional safe management measures should be implemented?
The following additional safe management measures apply:
a. Masks may only be removed when performing strenuous activities, although it is still recommended as good practice that masks be worn even under such circumstances.
b. Participants should maintain at least 2m safe distancing from others, and try to minimise physical contact as much as possible
c. There should be a minimum of 3m spacing between each group, if more than one group is using the same venue.
a. Group sizes are limited to five participants (excluding one instructor), except for singing classes which are limited to one participant (excluding one instructor). No more than one group is permitted in the same room.
b. Masks must continue to be worn as a default, except when unmasking is necessary for the activity. If possible, face shields should be worn even when unmasked.
c. Participants should maintain at least 2m safe distancing from others and refrain from positioning themselves directly opposite each other. For singing classes, participants should sing away from each other. If they cannot do so, they should maintain more than 2m safe distancing from each other.
d. For wind/brass instrument classes,
i. Instructors should continue to wear masks when singing or humming a passage of music to demonstrate how it should sound when played on the instrument.
ii. Participants should play on wind instruments which are fully intact, and refrain from training practices involving only parts of the instrument (e.g. mouthpiece buzzing, playing with just the lead pipe) to prevent droplet transmission.
iii. Sharing of music instruments or parts thereof (e.g. mouthpieces, reeds) is not allowed.
iv. Liquids from instruments (i.e. condensation and saliva) must be collected and disposed of hygienically.
For detailed guidance, please also refer to the advisories issued by Sport Singapore and the National Arts Council.
5. Will private tutors who are operating out of private residences be allowed to resume face-to-face lessons?
Yes, private tutors who are not based in centres will also be allowed to resume lessons from Phase Two, i.e. from 19 June 2020. Home-based tuition/enrichment is subject to prevailing safe management measures for home-based services, including the cap of five visitors allowed in the home at any one time. Such tutors must also use SafeEntry for visitors to support contact tracing; if the tutor is awaiting the set-up of a SafeEntry account, s/he should maintain a manual log of visitors in the interim.
Parents and tutors should also adhere to prevailing safe distancing measures, i.e. they should ensure that students and tutors maintain safe distancing of at least one metre at all times, with strictly no physical interaction between individuals. If it is not possible to apply one metre safe distancing between students (e.g. in residences), tutors must limit classes to no more than five persons, including the tutor, with suitable spacing between individuals where possible.
Private tutors operating out of residences are also advised to put in place appropriate precautionary measures, and work with parents to ensure that they are comfortable with the measures taken. These should include:
a. Wearing of masks by all staff and students
b. Temperature screening and health declarations (tutors should turn away or not conduct tuition for persons who are unwell or have been issued with Approved Absence/Leave of Absence by their respective schools or Stay Home Notice/Home Quarantine Order by the authorities)
c. Clear record-keeping of staff/students to facilitate contact-tracing (Note: Where the tutor has to visit multiple places of residence, the tutor is expected to maintain a personal log of his/her activities, to facilitate contact tracing if necessary.)
d. Disinfection of surfaces between classes, if venue is hosted by tutor and shared by multiple students
6. Will Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses for adults be allowed to continue?
With effect from 19 June 2020, in-person training will be permitted for all CET activities at the Institutes of Higher Learning and by SSG-funded training providers. Notwithstanding this, online learning should remain the default for all CET activities where feasible.
For health and safety reasons, the maximum class size for all CET activities is capped at 50 persons (including the trainer(s)). For SSG-funded CET programmes, SSG’s prevailing guideline for a maximum class size of 40 persons (including the trainer(s)) for course quality reasons remains and sits on top of this.
As far as possible, training providers should ensure safe distancing of at least 1m between individuals at all times. Where not feasible or practical to do so, this 1m requirement can instead be enforced between groups, with each group made up of not more than five persons, and no mixing between groups. There should be assigned seating in classrooms and other training venues where practicable.
As with all other activities outside of the home, masks should be worn at all times.
7. Will private tuition/enrichment classes and training sessions held in external venues (e.g. function rooms) be allowed to resume?
Yes, private tuition/enrichment classes, and training sessions by the Institutes of Higher Learning and SSG-funded training providers, conducted at external venues will be allowed to resume, if those venues are open. Such external venues may include condominium function rooms, private conference and meeting rooms, etc.
However, resumption of face-to-face lessons is subject to premise capacity caps and safe management measures. Private providers should approach premise owners for advice on the capacity caps for their respective venues during Phase 2. No single room should hold more than 50 persons, including tutors/instructors/trainers, or the premise capacity cap, whichever is lower. For SSG-funded CET programmes, SSG’s prevailing guideline for a maximum class size of 40 persons (including the trainer(s)) for course quality reasons remains and sits on top of this.
There should be a wipe-down regimen after each use at such external venues. Private providers must also adhere to the safe management guidelines for private tuition/enrichment and CET courses, which are outlined in the FAQs within this section.
8. Can private tutors wear face shields instead of face masks during private tuition/enrichment lessons?
Tutors/instructors may wear a face shield instead of a mask only when they are teaching or delivering a lecture in a classroom or lecture-style setting, where they largely remain at the spot from which they are speaking, and are able to maintain a safe distance (i.e. at least one metre away) from any other person. They must wear a mask once they have finished teaching.
Tutors teaching in private residences must wear a mask at all times.
9. What support is available for tuition and enrichment centres, which experienced a loss of income due to the earlier closures or prevailing safe management measures?
The Government has announced measures to help affected workers and businesses tide over this period of decreased cashflow. These include:
- A wage offset for businesses of 75% for all local (Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident) employees up to the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages for (a) April and May 2020; and (b) any further period they are not allowed to resume operations, or August 2020, whichever is earlier
- Automatic deferment of income tax payments for 3 months for companies and self-employed persons
- Enhanced rental waivers to support tenants – under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, tenants who are unable to pay rent and serve a notice for relief will have their rental payments suspended for up to 6 months, and leases cannot be terminated by landlords for non-payment of rent.
For more information, please refer to http://www.singaporebudget.gov.sg and the Ministry of Law website.