SINGAPORE: Safe management measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19 must be put in place by pet establishments as they resume services from Jun 2, the National Parks Board (NParks) said in a news release on Wednesday (May 20).
This comes a day after the Government announced that Singapore will exit the "circuit breaker" as planned on Jun 1, with measures to be progressively lifted in three phases from the next day.
“In line with this, animal-related services will be allowed to resume gradually,” NParks said.
READ: Singapore to exit circuit breaker on Jun 1, visiting of parents, places of worship allowed with restrictions
WHAT SERVICES CAN RESUME?
Pet establishments can provide basic grooming services like cleansing for hygiene purposes, nail clipping and maintenance of skin and fur.
For pet birds, services like the clipping of flight feathers, beak trimming, and maintenance of skin and feathers can be provided.
Treatments prescribed by a veterinarian can also resume.
Establishments that provide pet physiotherapy and rehabilitation for chronic joint and muscle conditions, or as part of their recovery post-surgery, will be allowed to resume such services with a referral from a vet.
However, cosmetic pet grooming such as styling of pets’ fur and spa baths will still not be allowed, NParks added.
SAFE MANAGEMENT MEASURES TO BE PUT IN PLACE: NPARKS
As these services resume, all service providers must put in place safe management measures to “minimise crowding and ensure sanitation and hygiene standards”, NParks said.
The agency laid out the measures that service operators must implement, such as staggered appointments and split-team arrangements.
All services can only be provided by appointment only with a buffer time between sessions so that owners do not run into each other at the establishment.
For pet grooming, it must be carried out on a drop-off/pick-up basis, with pet owners not allowed to wait for the animals.
As for animal physiotherapy and rehabilitation sessions, only one owner will be allowed to be present if needed.
Business owners and employees need to abide by good hygiene measures when handling animals as well. Facilities must be also cleaned and disinfected at least once a day
NParks added it will be compulsory for all staff members and customers to wear masks on premises and to use the digital check-in system, SafeEntry. Pet establishments must also comply with the measures the Ministry of Manpower previously laid out for firms to resume operations at workplaces.
These include implementing a system of safe management measures at workplaces, reducing physical interaction and ensuring safe distancing at workplaces.
The equipment used during the pet services must also be cleaned and decontaminated according to the National Environment Agency’s guidelines.
“Service providers that resume operations without the necessary safeguards will be liable for penalties and be asked to stop operations,” NParks said.
It recommended other practices like using cashless or contactless payment, getting employees handling pets to wear appropriate protective gear and making arrangements for staff members to collect or interact with animals with minimal or no contact with owners. These measures, however, are not mandatory.