SINGAPORE: More than 5,400 home renovation projects have received approval to resume work, as Singapore moves into its first phase of reopening after the "circuit breaker" period.
New applications to resume suspended renovation works will be approved within two days "if the submission is in order", the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said on Wednesday (Jun 3).
Approved contractors can immediately resume work with construction workers who are staying in private residential and HDB premises, as those workers have completed a 28-day stay-home notice and do not need to undergo a COVID-19 swab test before starting work.
Workers staying in dormitories cleared by the inter-agency task force can also resume work, BCA said.
All construction workers will be periodically tested for COVID-19 after they start work. Any worker who tests positive will have to stop work immediately, and their close contacts will be quarantined.
READ: Transition to a 'new normal' after circuit breaker: How will measures be lifted beyond Phase 1?
READ: Home owners can expect further renovation delays after circuit breaker as contractors face labour, supply shortage
Contractors may still face delays in renovation works even after receiving approval to restart work, BCA noted.
Some contractors have workers who are in Malaysia and are unable to travel to Singapore, while some companies might be unable to secure certain materials due to supply chain disruptions.
The process for applying to resume construction works will also be simplified. Contractors no longer have to submit the renovation contract and photos of the suspended works; they only need to provide the renovation site address, information about the workers and the nature of works when applying to BCA on their website.
Businesses that operate in settings with lower transmission risks were allowed to reopen from Tuesday. This includes full hairdressing services, motor vehicle servicing, aircon servicing, printing, basic pet services and school bookshops.
Pre-schools and early intervention centres also reopened for children in Kindergarten 1 and 2, with children in nursery level, infant care and playgroup to follow next week.
Some places of worship were also allowed to restart some services, such as marriage solemnisations and funerals, subject to a cap of 10 attendees.
People may now visit parents or grandparents, subject to a limit of two people and one visit per day. Parents may also drop off children with their grandparents for childcare, subject to the same limit.
Phase 2 could start before the end of June if the number of COVID-19 transmissions in the community remains low and stable, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong last week.