Singapore to Allow Some Bars, Clubs to Re-Open From Next Month

Singapore will allow some bars and nightclubs to re-open from next month in a pilot program as it takes another step toward normalization encouraged by dwindling coronavirus cases.

A small number of establishments will be part of the program that aims to determine the viability of safety measures and the nightlife industry’s ability to comply, according to a joint statement from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Home Affairs late on Friday.

The pilot for pubs and bars will start by December and last for two months, while that for karaoke lounges and nightclubs will begin in January and last for an initial three months.

“Even if the pilots turn out well, it is expected that the nightlife industry will not resume operations in their original form for a considerable period,” the ministries said. “The Government has thus worked out an assistance package to help nightlife establishments pivot to permissible activities or exit the industry.”

Reviving the nightlife industry, which has remained shut for seven months, is the latest attempt by Singapore to resume normalcy as the number of new virus cases in the community slide to near zero. In the past few months, the country has relaxed measures such as allowing events and conferences with up to 250 participants and live performances with an eye on easing its last phase of curbs by year-end.

Participating nightlife establishments must adopt stringent safety measures to take part in the pilot program including:

  • Customers must wear masks at all times on the dance floor or while singing. Masks can only be removed while eating and drinking
  • Alcohol cannot be sold, served or consumed after 10.30pm.
  • Customers must test negative to Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours prior to finishing their activity in karaoke lounges and nightclubs
  • Closed-circuit television cameras must be deployed and activated at all times, and cover all parts of the common areas and rooms used for the activities

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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