Singapore’s Tourism Industry Races to Abide by New Covid Rules

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Checking in to a hotel room in Singapore from Sunday could also mean agreeing to random checks from staff to ensure only two guests are in the room at any time. That’s just one example of how the city-state’s tourism sector is racing to adapt to the latest restrictions imposed on the local population to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Staycations can go ahead as planned, according to the country’s tourism board, but the experiences on offer will be unlike what customers initially signed up for.

Dining-in options at hotel restaurants will be unavailable and luxury hotels are offering in-room “bento boxes” to replace the breakfast many would have enjoyed during their stay. Dining credits will instead be replaced with credits to use for room service.

The Singapore Tourism Board announced that there will be industrywide changes as the country returns to lockdown-like conditions for four weeks from May 16 to June 13.

  • Capacity at attractions and cruises will be cut to 25%
  • Shows will allow as many as 100 attendees with pre-event testing
  • Hotels will only allow two guests per room except when the people are from the same household
  • Dining-in at food and beverage establishments will no longer be allowed, including at hotels or on-board cruises

One hotel in the Marina Bay area is asking customers to agree to random checks to make sure there are only two guests in each room. People who breach the safety measures may be fined as much as S$10,000 ($7,506) or jailed for as long as six months, or both, according to the document given to staycationers at check-in.

Several hotels and cruises are offering refunds to customers who would rather cancel their bookings in light of the changes.

Wider restrictions

The country reported 24 new locally transmitted virus cases on Friday. The number of unlinked infections -- the most concerning because they represent undetected spread in the community –- has risen to 16 cases in the past week from 9 cases in the week before.

There are currently more than ten clusters in Singapore, including ones that stem from Changi airport and a hospital. The Singapore Prison Service will be testing about 5,000 inmates, staff, vendors and volunteers after a chef at Changi Prison Complex tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, the Straits Times newspaper reported.

Religious services will also have to reduce capacity due to the government’s measures, although they will be allowed 100 attendees if attendees test negative for coronavirus before the event. There will be no in-person Mass service this Sunday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore said in a statement so it can implement the latest measures.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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