SINGAPORE: Local tours run by operators and tourist guides can now have bigger groups, as long as safe distancing measures are in place between sub-groups of participants, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Tuesday (Jul 28).
Tours involving transport such as buses can take up to 50 people or at the vehicle's maximum operating capacity after implementation of safe management measures, whichever is lower.
Local walking, cycling and kayaking tours are limited to a maximum of 10 people excluding the tour guide.
All tours have to ensure that there are not more than five people in a sub-group. At least 1m distance has to be maintained between the sub-groups and there should be no intermingling.
Tours also cannot exceed eight hours, STB said.
The easing of guidelines comes after the launch of a S$45 million tourism campaign urging locals to explore Singapore, with packages and promotions on offer.
When conducting tours, operators and guides have to use a portable audio tour guide system, and maintain records of detailed itineraries and schedules, as well as participants' and tour partners' contact information.
They will also have to implement cleaning and disinfecting regimes, particularly for high-touch elements such as tour equipment and in vehicles.
The full list of requirements are available on STB's website.
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The tourism board started accepting applications for the resumption of tours on Jun 29. Applications are subject to approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).
Tour operators and guides must submit their itineraries and schedules to STB for assessment, and a declaration to comply with safe management measures. STB and MTI will take up to 14 days to assess each application.
Tour operators and tourist guides whose applications are approved must submit a set of required data every Monday before 2pm, said STB.
Singapore exited its "circuit breaker" period to stem the spread of local COVID-19 transmissions on Jun 2 and moved into Phase 1 of reopening. The country entered Phase 2 on Jun 19, with more businesses allowed to reopen subject to safe management measures.
Government agencies are stepping up enforcement to ensure that business comply with safe management measures, STB said.
Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, businesses that flout the law may be shut down or have their licences suspended or revoked.
"Tour operators and tourist guides who do not comply with the Government’s required safe management measures may also be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance," STB added.