1. Is it safe to use reusable containers for takeaway? What if the container was handled by someone who has the virus?
According to the Singapore Food Authority, there is currently no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food and food packaging that may have been exposed to an infected person. This means that there is a very low risk of spread from food, product and packaging. Members of the public should continue to practice good hygiene habits such as washing their hands regularly.
2. Do I need to apply for an exemption to resume operations for Phase Two?
F&B and retail establishments that are allowed to open in Phase Two need not apply for an exemption before resuming operations. A class exemption to resume business will be granted by MTI.
However, please note that you will need to submit manpower details via the GoBusiness portal within two weeks from 19 June 2020.
3. What are the safe management measures F&B establishments need to implement for dine-in?
With effect from 19 June 2020, dine-in for F&B establishments is allowed. Please refer to the advisory for Phase Two Re-opening of Food & Beverage Establishments for details on the applicable safe management measures.
4. Can F&B establishments use acrylic dividers or physical barriers to replace the need for 1m safe distancing?
No. The default is to ensure at least one metre safe distancing between groups of seated diners (five or fewer) at all times. While acrylic dividers or other physical barriers can be adopted alongside the safe distancing requirement, they are not meant to be used as a substitute for the safe distancing requirement. Where physical barriers (e.g. acrylic dividers) are used, additional safeguards must be taken to minimise the risk of cross infection (e.g. regular cleaning).
5. I own a F&B establishment within a mall. Am I required to implement SafeEntry and conduct temperature taking/checks on visible symptoms, since visitors who entered the malls are already required to do so?
All F&B establishments with dine-in facilities must implement SafeEntry to facilitate the efficient collection of customer information for contact tracing when needed. Food courts are expected to put up SafeEntry QR codes for customers to sign in.
All F&B establishments with dine-in facilities must conduct temperature taking and checks for visible symptoms, except if they are located in malls that are already doing temperature taking. They should however do so, if they operate outside the mall opening hours or if they have an entrance not within the mall’s screened area.
6. What are the visible symptoms to check for and how should I check this?
Notable visible symptoms to look out for include: (a) coughing; (b) sneezing; (c) breathlessness; and (d) a runny nose.
These would be noticeable symptoms. Advise those who appear unwell to see a doctor before turning them away.
F&B establishments should avoid activities that would attract crowds in and outside of their premises (e.g. providing special discounts or offers for dine-in), for at least two weeks from Phase Two reopening. This is to facilitate crowd management.
Outlets may continue with ongoing promotional activities for online delivery and takeaway orders, but must also take note to minimise long queues of customers and delivery personnel at the shopfront. Outlets are encouraged to adopt a tiered pricing strategy where applicable to support staggered meal hours, particularly at locations that attract large crowds.
8. Can I leave the cutleries and condiments on the dining table or placed at a common station for the customers to self-serve?
To minimise unnecessary mingling/crowding at F&B outlets, the provision of condiments (e.g. soy sauce, salt and pepper, chilli sauce) and cutleries at self-serve common stations should not be allowed, unless these are individually packed & sealed.
For dine-in, condiments should be provided to diners only after they are seated or upon request, and be promptly removed after diners have taken the required serving. Where practicable, F&B establishments should ensure that any shared condiments are properly bottled, and not kept in containers with partial openings and/or involve the use of common utensils. Likewise, cutleries should either be provided to diners when they are seated, or stored in a properly covered container/ compartment at respective dining tables.
The above notwithstanding, food stalls and kiosks are allowed to place condiments and cutleries at their stall counters (e.g. in covered containers), as long as these are within sight of and managed directly by the staff.
9. Are F&B establishments allowed to operate the entertainment/amusement devices (such as billiard, pool tables, dart machines) within their outlet? Amusement and leisure centres such as billiard and pool centres can already resume operations, and some even provide F&B.
Entertainment/amusement devices (e.g. dart machines, billiard, pool tables) in F&B establishments must remain closed as these are not the core services provided by the F&B establishments. Such facilities will result in longer than necessary dwell time, and result in crowds or congregation. We urge the cooperation of F&B establishments as we work towards the gradual resumption of activities, to provide a safe environment for customers and employees.
10. Can F&B establishments take in reservations or walk-in diners of more than 5 persons for an event or small group gathering as long as the groups are separated into tables of 5 or less?
Gatherings and events involving more than 5 persons are not allowed at F&B establishments. Exceptions can only be made if all members of the group are from the same household. They must be seated at multiple tables with no more than 5 persons per table, with at least one-metre spacing between the tables.
11. Can F&B establishments request to check the identification cards of the groups of diners if they claim to be from the same household?
F&B establishments can request to verify diners’ claims that they are from the same household, and can reject the entry of diners at their discretion.
12. Are there guidelines for diners on when they can remove their mask and how soon would they need to put it back on?
Dine-in customers are required to wear their masks at all times except when eating or drinking, but they must put the mask back on immediately after.
13. Can F&B establishments serve alcohol? If so, can the bar counters in the restaurants be opened?
Only permitted F&B establishments are allowed to operate and provide dine-in services. Such outlets can serve alcohol along with the meals.
Bar counters within the restaurants are considered higher-risk areas where there is a higher likelihood of customers mixing between groups and socialising/mingling. F&B establishments can mitigate the risk by seating customers on stools or clearly demarcating the boundaries for each dining area to ensure separation of at least one metre between groups at all times. F&B establishments should also refrain from serving drinks-only menu at the bar counters.
14. Can F&B establishments without a retail licence serve alcohol for takeaway or delivery?
No. In view that F&B dine-in has resumed, the earlier concession given by Police to allow takeaway or delivery of alcohol at F&B premises without the need for a retail liquor licence will cease. F&B outlets that wish to continue providing such retail services are required to apply for a retail (Class 3A/3B) liquor licence, in accordance with the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act 2015. They should do so by 31 July 2020.
F&B outlets may make the application online at GoBusiness portal. Please note that the application is subject to the planning permission for the premises permitting takeaway or deliveries, among other considerations. In the interim when such an application (if any) was submitted and is being processed, Police will continue to exercise flexibility until the outcome of the licence application is made known to the applicant.
Should you require further information or assistance on the matter, please contact SPF via: SPF_PLRD_PELLD@spf.gov.sg.
15. Why is there a limit of 60 decibels set for the volume of the background music played in my F&B establishment? What is the basis of this?
Some F&B outlets have been observed to be playing loud music, causing patrons to talk more loudly or to remove their masks to be heard. This raises the risk of COVID-19 transmission. As an added precaution, from 24 August 2020, recorded music at F&B outlets must only be played as soft background music, at no more than 60 decibels. Most F&B outlets are already in compliance today. For illustration, 60 decibels is the approximate noise level for a regular conversation.
16. All malls and large standalone stores (>930sqm) must comply with the occupancy limit of 10 sqm per person stipulated. What is the basis for this?
The occupancy limit is meant to help malls and standalone stores operationalise the requirement of ensuring sufficient physical distancing between visitors and avoid overcrowding within the premise.
In addition to the occupancy limit, malls and standalone stores must also ensure that they comply with other safe distancing measures, e.g. dispersion of groups of more than five people and physical distancing of at least one metre in queues.
17. How should malls and standalone stores compute the number of people allowed in their premises based on the occupancy limit of one person per 10 sqm of Gross Floor Area (GFA)?
Malls and standalone stores can take reference from the following guidelines:
- A standalone mall with an approved GFA of 32,000 sqm for the retail component will have an allowable visitor capacity of 3,200 persons at any one time.
- Non-visitors, i.e. staff of the mall management, tenants and term contractors, will not be included in the visitor capacity computation.
- Individual tenants within shopping malls will not be subjected to this rule. However, other safe distancing measures are to be applied, e.g. dispersion of groups more than five people and physical distancing of at least one metre in queues.
18. How can a mall/ standalone store manage the number of shoppers to ensure compliance with the occupancy limit of one person per 10 sqm of Gross Floor Area (GFA)?
Malls and standalone stores can consider continuing to reduce the number of entrances and deploy queue management systems or staff to control the number of visitors entering and leaving the premises, to ensure compliance with the allowable visitor capacity.
The reduction in the number of entrances should not lead to a congregation of visitors outside the mall. Malls must make sure that there is at least one metre spacing between persons standing in queues, including those outside the mall.
19. With more shops opening, crowds are coming back. How else can I better control the crowd level in my store?
You may wish to minimise the in-store dwell time of customers, suppliers and contractors. For instance, delay opening sections of the store for better crowd control.
You may also wish to adopt queue management systems, which are supported under the Productivity Solutions Grant.
Retailers should avoid activities that would attract crowds in and outside of the retail establishment (e.g. providing special discounts or offers for reopening) for at least two weeks from Phase Two reopening. This is to prevent crowds and long queues of customers and delivery personnel at the store front.
Sales and promotions for purchases online are allowed, where purchases are delivered to customers directly. Customers are also allowed to collect such online purchases in the store. Stores are advised to set up a separate queue for online collections to enable a quick collection of goods purchased online. However, they must also take note to minimise long queues of customers and delivery personnel at the shopfront.
21. Are in-store events and activities or mall atrium activities allowed?
Activities and events in stores or mall atriums must not be held.
22. When will we know if atrium sales can resume?
Atrium sales are not permitted until further notice.
In-store and mall promotions are to be avoided, in order for newly re-opened stores to better manage crowds and enforce safe management measures.
As supermarkets have remained open throughout the Circuit Breaker period and Phase 1 of re-opening, and already have established safe management measures, they are permitted to run promotions as a means of inventory management. Supermarkets will still be required to ensure that safe distancing is in place.
24. What are the visible symptoms to check for and how should I check this? As a mall operator, can I turn away all customers who appear unwell?
Notable visible symptoms to look out for include: (a) coughing; (b) sneezing; (c) breathlessness; and (d) a runny nose.
These would be noticeable symptoms. Those who appear unwell should be turned away, except where the individual is entering the mall to seek medical treatment for a specified symptom.
25. Will malls be held accountable if their tenants do not comply with the safe management measures?
Government agencies will step up enforcement efforts to ensure the proper implementation of the safe management measures. If establishments are found to be non-compliant, they will be guided on finding suitable solutions. Subsequently, periodic checks will be conducted to ensure compliance. Mall operators are to provide assistance to tenants who may need it.
Businesses, including mall operators and their tenants, are accountable for their own safe management measures. If they do not implement or comply with the government’s advisories, they may be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance. They may also face fines and jail terms under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, depending on the extent of their infringement.
Retailers should avoid activities that would attract crowds in and outside of the retail establishment (e.g. providing special discounts or offers for reopening) for at least two weeks from Phase Two reopening. If such activities are organised, an application for permit is not required. However, retailers must ensure that they are able to monitor and control the crowd flow diligently. For instance, they must continually ensure that there is no overcrowding, at least one metre spacing between customers standing in the queues, and should disperse groups larger than five people. Retailers who are unable to implement proper crowd control will be ordered to cease promotion activities immediately.
27. For retailers who have to cross-deploy their staff, what are the additional safeguards that they have to put in place to minimise the risk of cross infection?
There should be no cross deployment or interaction between employees in different shifts, teams or worksites, even outside of work.
If cross deployment cannot be avoided due to operational reasons such as the nature of the job, e.g. IT personnel, truck drivers or managerial staff supporting different office/store locations, retailers must take additional safeguards to minimise the risk of cross infection, e.g. minimise the number of premises that workers are cross-deployed to, put in place systems to ensure no direct contact with the cross-deployed personnel.
28. Are testers and samples allowed?
All product testers and samples that require customer contact e.g. cosmetics and food samples, must be removed.
Yes, but operators must practise safe management and safe distancing measures, including ensuring that customers are spaced at least one-metre apart at all times on the premises.
30. As an operator of make-up or facial therapy services, what additional precautions should I take for my employees, as my customers are unable to wear a face mask during these services?
Apart from wearing masks, operators may wish to provide their employees with additional personal protective equipment such as face shields at the workplace, where practicable. They should also remind employees to wash their hands with soap/sanitise their hands after each service.
31. Do customers need to wear a face mask for facial hair grooming/facial threading services?
Masks should be worn as a default. Customers receiving facial treatments or facial therapies (which include facial hair grooming or beard trimming services) in private rooms are allowed to remove their masks during their treatment, but operators must ensure that the private room is thoroughly disinfected before and after use. Facial treatment or facial therapies where customers would need to remove their face masks are not allowed in open settings (i.e. open-format salons where customers are seated together). Therapists or technicians are not allowed to remove their masks at all times when performing any services.
For the safety of employees and customers, facial threading services where therapists or technicians have to remove their face masks during the delivery of service (e.g. use the technique of holding threads in their mouths) are not allowed.
32. Are paid kiddy rides/indoor playgrounds/family entertainment centres permitted to resume operations?
Paid kiddy rides, indoor playgrounds and family entertainment centres may resume operations. Operators must ensure that safe management measures are adhered to (e.g. regular cleaning of play areas; providing hand sanitisers nearby).
More details can be found here.
33. Are common play areas for children in F&B/retail shops/malls allowed to open?
Common play areas in F&B, retail establishments and malls may open. Operators must ensure that safe management measures are adhered to (e.g. regular cleaning of play areas; providing hand sanitisers nearby).
More details can be found here.
34. Are indoor kids’ playgrounds and leisure centres in malls allowed to open?
Family entertainment centres such as indoor kids’ playgrounds, recreation and leisure centres are allowed to open. They must adhere to the required safe management measures as outlined in ESG’s Advisory for Retail Establishments and Lifestyle-Related Services.
More details can be found here.
35. Are game arcades/claw machines permitted to resume operations?
Standalone game arcades and claw machines are permitted to resume operations. However, those located within F&B establishments must remain closed as they are not part of the core services provided by the F&B establishments. Such facilities will result in unnecessary dwell time, and result in crowds or congregation.
36. Are vending machines permitted to open?
Yes, vending machines are permitted to open.
37. Are retail businesses who conduct their businesses from their outdoor display areas outside their retail shops permitted to resume operations?
Yes. Retail businesses are allowed to reopen their shopfronts from 19 June 2020, including operating from their outdoor display areas outside their shops.
Retailers are required to implement safe management measures. More details can be found here.
38. Are home-based beauty salons allowed to reopen? Is there an advisory for home-based beauty salon businesses?
Yes, home-based beauty services are allowed to resume from 19 June 2020. Home-based businesses must ensure that Safe Management Measures are deployed and that safe distancing measures are practised at all times by your employees and customers.
Before resuming activities, businesses must comply with the requirements for Safe Management Measures and any sector-specific requirements which apply to them. For retail and lifestyle-related services, which include beauty services, businesses may refer to the joint advisories issued by ESG, STB, SFA, HDB and URA.
39. Are there guidelines for saunas, especially large-format spas and saunas?
Spas and saunas are allowed to open, and operators must practise safe management and safe distancing measures, including ensuring that customers are spaced at least one-metre apart at all times on the premises.
Mask should be worn as a default. Masks can be taken off when performing strenuous activities or where practicable, although it is still recommended as good practice even under such circumstances.
Large-format spas and saunas may also reference the advisory for malls and large standalone stores where those larger than > 930 sqm (or 10,000 sqft) of Gross Floor Area (GFA) must comply with the occupancy limit of one person per 10 sqm of GFA.
40. Can customers share private therapy rooms?
Customers in a group of up to 5 may share a private therapy room. They are allowed to remove their masks during their facial treatment or therapy done in a private room, and must put the masks back on immediately after. The operator must ensure that the private room is thoroughly disinfected before and after use. A private therapy room is defined as one which is enclosed on all sides by partitions that are at least 2 metres in height, e.g. fixed walls, plexiglass. The operator must ensure that customers are at least 1 metre apart during the treatment or therapy.
41. Should malls continue to demarcate lifts with one-metre spacing?
As more activities resume, lift lobbies have become increasingly crowded. To reduce the risk of overcrowding in lift lobbies, there is no longer a requirement for 1-metre safe distancing within the lift.
In lieu of the 1-metre safe distancing requirements in lift, lift owners should implement the following safe management measures found here.
42. Are kiosks and push-carts permitted to resume operations?
Yes, kiosks and push-carts with permitted SSIC codes can operate. This applies to operations that exist before the Circuit Breaker period.
Temporary pop-up events/shops will not be permitted. All atrium events and activities must remain closed.
43. Are unmanned massage chairs in malls allowed to operate?
Coin-operated/unmanned massage chairs are allowed to open, provided they are placed at least one metre apart from each other. Hand sanitisers must be provided nearby, and the chairs must be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Operators are to ensure that users abide by the safe management measures as outlined in ESG’s Advisory for Retail Establishments and Lifestyle-Related Services.
44. Can shoppers remove their masks and sit at common areas to consume takeaway food?
Yes, they are allowed to sit at common areas to consume food. However, they should eat quickly, and leave the area immediately after they finish their food/drinks. They must put on their masks properly at all times except when eating or drinking. All other Safe Management measures will apply.
45. For retail stores that are currently under renovation and are taking up a temporary lease at atrium space, can they operate in Phase 2?
Yes, they can do so, but subject to ESG’s approval. They may write to Retail_Design@enterprisesg.gov.sg.
46. The main walkway to office block passes through some retail units (facing corridor), do workers still need to do SafeEntry and temperature checks?
Yes, workers will still need to do SafeEntry and temperature checks as they may decide to enter the mall and patronise the retail stores and F&B outlets. Exemption is only given if the mall is able to create a dedicated pathway that leads the workers directly to the office entrance.
47. Can designated smoking areas (DSAs) be reopened?
Yes, malls may reopen DSAs, so long as the safe distancing measures are adhered to. Malls can refer to the latest NEA advisory for the guidelines on DSAs.