MTI releases guidelines for gradual resumption of business operations

Photo by Carson Arias

The Ministry for Trade and Industry (MTI) has released guidelines on 6 May for the gradual resumption of business operations. This follows the Multi-Ministry Taskforce’s  announcement on 2 May 2020 that it would progressively ease some of the tighter circuit breaker measures over the coming weeks.

From 12 May 2020, retail laundry services, barbers and hairdressers (for basic haircut services) and retail of pet supplies can resume operations. Retail outlets of cakes and confectionery, packaged snacks and desserts may be open for takeaway and delivery only.

The manufacturing and onsite preparation of all food including cakes and confectionery, ice cream, cocoa, chocolate and chocolate products and other snacks will also be allowed.

Taking into consideration the large number of businesses in the categories listed above, MTI will not require them to seek exemption from MTI individually before resuming operations. Instead, a class exemption to resume business during this period will be granted, subject to businesses fully implementing the safe management measures outlined below.

In addition to the businesses listed earlier, more workplaces will gradually be re-opened. This will take into account their importance to the economy and global supply chains, their contribution to local employment and their ability to minimise risks of transmission at their workplaces.

Safe management measures

All businesses must put in place the necessary safe management measures to minimise crowding within their premises and ensure high sanitation and hygiene standards. These measures include:

i. Staggered working hours and break times, to minimise crowding of workers at arrival/departure or break times.

ii. Cancellation and deferment by employers of all events or activities that involve close and prolonged contact amongst participants. All social gatherings at the workplace must also be cancelled or deferred, including interacting at staff canteens, or being in groups during meals or breaks.

iii. Clearly demarcated queue lines and signage for customers/visitors.

iv. Clearly identified waiting area for customers/visitors and delivery personnel (if applicable) with demarcations for safe distancing.

v. Implementing SafeEntry at the workplace and encouraging employees to download and activate the TraceTogether app.

vi. Making sure that customers/visitors and delivery personnel observe at least one-metre spacing at all times and do not cluster together.

vii. Ensuring that all staff, patrons and delivery personnel on the premises have their masks on.

viii. Placing hand sanitisers at high-touch areas.

ix. Observing high levels of hygiene and cleanliness in accordance with the SG Clean checklists, as well as MOH and NEA’s guidelines, which are relevant for the sector.

Information on sector-specific SG Clean guidelines can be found at their website.

The government will work closely with the Trade Associations and Chambers and our businesses to help them prepare and implement the specific measures before they resume operations.