SINGAPORE: With Phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening starting this Friday (Jun 19), authorities have released guidelines for shops and food and beverage outlets to resume business safely.
Apart from the usual health checks, hygiene and safe distancing measures, retail and F&B establishments are also discouraged from providing special discounts for reopening for at least two weeks from the start of Phase 2.
This is to avoid the potential to attract crowds, said Enterprise Singapore, the Housing and Development Board, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Singapore Tourism Board and the Singapore Food Agency in a joint advisory on Tuesday.
Here's a list of what businesses and customers should take note of in Phase 2.
READ: COVID-19: Phase 2 of reopening to start from Jun 19, social gatherings of up to five people allowed
1. NO BUFFETS, SELF-SERVICE F&B AMENITIES
Those who love buffets have to wait a little longer to feast on an all-you-can-eat spread. All self-service buffet lines must remain suspended during Phase 2, said the advisory.
Any communal amenities such as drinks dispensers or common condiments must not be used. Diners may still share food but serving utensils should be provided.
This also applies to catering companies providing meals at other premises. Such companies may opt to offer individually packed options instead.
In addition, self-service food samples must not be offered to customers.
2. HANDS OFF! NO PRODUCT SAMPLES AND TESTERS
Although physical retail outlets will be lifting their shutters from Friday, shoppers have to adjust to the new norm of not having any testers or samples that require physical contact.
From lipstick testers at beauty emporiums to product samples at pharmacies, customers will no longer be able to try an item on the spot before making a purchase. All such items must be removed.
Businesses can, however, hand out individually packed samples such as travel-sized products upon request or purchase.
Traditional Chinese medicine or health supplement outlets are also not allowed to provide samples of their drinks or products, said the advisory.
READ: COVID-19 - Religious services, large-scale events and entertainment venues ‘will take more time’ to resume
3. SPA TIME BUT WITH EXTRA PRECAUTIONS
Thinking of getting a long-awaited massage or indulging in a spa session? Salons must adhere to strict guidelines and ensure that they change all clothing, towels and bedding after use by every customer.
Single-use massage oils, creams and beauty products are also encouraged to prevent cross contamination, said the advisory.
You will be allowed to remove your mask during a facial treatment as long as the procedure takes place in a private room. According to the advisory, face masks should be kept on in open settings and where other customers are present.
Beauty and wellness outlets must not serve food and drinks to customers. Shared items such as magazines and newspapers must be removed.
For hair salons, all equipment such as scissors, combs and brushes must be disinfected and sanitised after use by each customer.
4. NO MALL EVENTS, COMMON PLAY AREAS TO REMAIN CLOSED
To better manage crowds, activities and events in stores or mall atrium cannot be held. If an extension of an existing retail space is deemed necessary as part of safe management measures, approval must be sought from Enterprise Singapore, said the advisory.
All common play areas for children, toddlers and infants at F&B outlets, retail stores or malls must remain closed.
As part of crowd management measures, those found in groups of more than five people will also be advised to disperse quickly.
READ: ‘A great relief’: F&B and retail businesses welcome Phase 2 but say it will take some time to recover
5. TRY TO BUY ONLINE
Fitting rooms should be disinfected after each use.
"Products tried on by customers should be sanitised where possible, e.g. via steaming, cleaning, leaving overnight to air, or other reasonable sanitisation methods," said the advisory.
Businesses are encouraged to get customers to buy online by having a flexible return policy.
In addition, employees conducting tailoring and measuring services should wear personal protective equipment at all times.
6. REFRAIN FROM BROWSING BOOKS
If you plan to visit a bookstore, note that shoppers are advised to minimise their browsing time.
"Minimise browsing time by encouraging customers to read book summaries online and reduce browsing in-store," said the advisory.
Book launches, readings, meet-the-author sessions and any promotional activities that would result in gatherings must also be scrapped during this period.
7. DELIVERIES ENCOURAGED
Establishments predominantly selling beverages will be allowed to resume operations, which means bubble tea outlets will be back in business. However, the advisory encouraged takeaways and home deliveries in order to avoid crowds.
Where possible, collection and delivery from the store should be spaced out and contactless.
For contactless deliveries, F&B outlets should clearly label the orders for easy pick-up. They should also have arrangements in place so that customers do not handle containers or bags that do not belong to them.
Remember, always wear a mask when you are out of the house and maintain at least 1m spacing between individuals or groups of five people.