S$640 million support package for businesses, workers affected by extended COVID-19 restrictions
The Jobs Support Scheme is among the measures that will continue until Nov 21.
SINGAPORE: A S$640 million support package will be rolled out for affected businesses and workers, after it was announced on Wednesday (Oct 20) that Singapore will extend its COVID-19 restrictions by nearly a month.
The stabilisation phase, which started on Sep 27 to help reduce the strain on the healthcare system, was scheduled to last until Oct 24.
It has now been extended until Nov 21, with a review of the measures at the two-week mark. They may be adjusted based on the situation then, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a media release.
During the stabilisation phase, social gatherings and dining-in have been capped at groups of two, while work-from-home has been the default arrangement.
Given the extended restrictions, the Government will continue with the Jobs Support Scheme until Nov 21, at 25 per cent wage support for sectors significantly affected by the tightened measures.
These include F&B, retail, cinemas, museums and art galleries, family entertainment, tourism, gyms and fitness studios, as well as performing arts and arts education.
A two-week rental waiver will be given to qualifying tenants on government-owned commercial properties.
Eligible tenant-occupiers and owner-occupiers of privately-owned commercial properties will also be given a 0.5-month rental relief cash payout under the Rental Support Scheme (RSS).
Cooked food and market stallholders in centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or operators appointed by NEA will receive a 0.5-month rental waiver.
SUPPORT FOR DRIVERS
Taxi and private-hire car drivers will receive a payout of S$10 and S$5 per vehicle per day in November and December respectively.
The extension of support under the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund will cost an additional S$16 million and is expected to benefit about 50,000 drivers, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a separate media release.
"This brings the total amount set aside by the Government for the taxi and PHC (private-hire car) sectors to about S$520 million since February 2020," said LTA, adding that taxi operators have also pledged to continue rental waivers for drivers on top of the Government’s assistance.
MOH said the latest support package will be funded from the higher-than-expected revenues collected to date and there will be no further draw on past reserves.