Singapore’s hotels can now catch a breath of relief as the government has allowed applications for the reopening of accommodations for leisure stays, as well as of recreation areas for children within the hotel premises.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced on July 3 that hotels wishing to resume these activities must comply with the latest requirements for Safe Management Measures found in the country’s Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.
These measures have been enforced as part of the country’s second phase of reopening, and STB, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Enterprise Singapore, and Ministry of Health have updated them specifically for hotels. They include allowing natural ventilation during working hours, establishing assessment of every visitor for symptoms of Covid-19 before entry, as well as adapting procedures to facilitate contact tracing.
According to the advisory, these plans must now be “tailored to the specific nature of operations in each hotel, and potential risk factors arising from localised factors such as the hotel’s physical premises and layout, environment, scale of hotel and typical guest behaviour”.
On top of these measures, hotels must also adhere to a separate suite of tailored guidelines in order to be assessed by STB. Each application must indicate how the property will achieve a series of set outcomes, such as the ability to limit occupancy to no more than one person per 10m2 of public space; to stagger timings for guests to occupy the lobby and guest facilities, as well as employees in the back-of-house; and to implement rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regimes.
Tan Yen Nee, director, hotel and sector manpower, STB, said: “Our key priority now is to support our hotel industry in resuming more activities, while ensuring the safety and well-being of all guests and staff. We hope that guests will enjoy the various hotel offerings, and adhere to the safe management measures when visiting hotels.”
The reintroduction of staycations is a long-awaited lifeline for the hospitality players in Singapore, who have only been able to welcome locals back into their dining establishments.
Kwee Wei-Lin, president, Singapore Hotel Association, said: “With global travel restrictions still in force, domestic tourism will give a much-needed financial boost to hotels in Singapore. As we gradually prepare for the return of international travellers, staycations will pave the way to better the financial health of our industry.”
The Safe Management Measures under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 can be found on agc.gov.sg, while the application procedure for hotels can be found on stb.gov.sg.