Living With COVID-19: 9 Things Singapore Businesses And Workers Can Look Forward To From 29 March 2022

On March 24, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced changes to the Safe Management Measures (SMMs) as we make the transition to living with Covid-19. These changes are expected to relieve the pressure on businesses to comply with the stringent SMMs and allow us to resume our normal lives.

Here is what businesses and workers need to know about the new Covid-19 rules starting this week.

#1 Up To 75% Of Work-From-Home Workers Can Return Back To Office From 29 March 2022

At the start of this year, 50% of workers who could work from home were allowed to return to office settings. Depending on the rostered schedule, not all workers may have had the chance to see each other face-to-face.

Starting March 29, workers can look forward to seeing more of their office buddies who they may not have caught up with for many months.

#2 No Need For Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) From 29 March 2022

The rostered routine testing (RRT) regime is required only for settings catering to vulnerable groups and selected essential service sectors. From March 29, the RRT regime for all sectors will cease, along with the government subsidies provided for companies on RRT.

Nevertheless, businesses may wish to impose regular testing at the workplace at their own cost for the wellbeing of their employees. Hence, workers must check their internal protocols for guidance.

Separately, workers must continue with self-testing when they feel sick or have had recent contact with an infected person. If they were to test positive, would have to comply with the necessary health protocols.

Businesses should allow their employees who test positive for the Covid infection to rest at home without the need for a medical certificate or recovery memo.

#3 Workers Need To Wear Masks In Office

Breathing through a mask in the office or an indoor setting is still unavoidable for now.

However, even for non-smokers, you may take off your mask when stepping outdoors for a breath of fresh air.

#4 No Need To Maintain 1 Metre Rule If Wearing Mask

There will no longer be a need for an invisible wall of 1 metre between one and another in the office or when everyone has their mask on. That means more unfortunately, more seats in the meeting room with the big boss from 29 March 2022.

However, the force field of 1 metre needs to be activated in an outdoor or mask-off setting.

#5 Vaccinated Persons Can Gather In Groups Of 10 For Outdoor Activities From 29 March 2022

Companies hosting outdoor team bonding activities or retreats from March 29 onwards can have 10 persons per group, double the current group size limit. 

However, there is no such limit on the group size if the social gathering activity is held indoors which is a mask-on setting.   

#6 Companies Can Host Larger Events With A Greater Capacity From 29 March 2022

Companies planning to host large events or send employees to large-scale seminars may do so beginning 29 March 2022. The capacity limit for large events and settings with more than 1,000 pax will be increased to 75%, up from the current 50%.

Businesses can also organise their gala dinners, and corporate dinner-and-dance events (D&Ds) from 29 March 2022 onwards. However, they must adhere to the group size limits and maintain safe distancing of 1 metre between tables. 

#7 More Can Dine-In At F&B Establishments Like Hawker Centres And Coffeeshops From 29 March 2022

The “chope-ing” culture that was rampant pre-covid during peak lunch hours is set to return as workers jostle for their hawker fare in bigger group sizes.

It may now be easier to arrange farewell lunches as up to 10 persons per group can dine-in at F & B establishments where full vaccination-differentiated SMMs (VDS) checks are in place. Workers can also dine in groups of 5 at  & Bestablishments without VDS. 

#8 F&B Establishments Are Allowed To Have A Live Band Show, Stream Live Football Matches, And Serve Alcohol Past 10.30pm From 29 March 2022

Workers can enjoy a pint of beer or two, especially after putting in a long shift at work, as sales of alcohol extend past 10.30pm. Friday nights and weekends may get high-spirited as live band music and live football streaming are allowed to resume on 29 March 2022. 

However, workers hoping for more late night entertainment may have to wait for now. The resumption of activities for nightlife businesses is still pending further updates.                        

#9 Land Borders Will Fully Open From April 1: Vaccinated Travellers Can Travel Without Testing Or Quarantine

More Malaysian workers living here in Singapore can return home from April 1 without the need for entry approvals like the vaccinated travel pass.

All fully vaccinated Malaysian workers will now be able to cross the borders using the designated vaccinated travel bus services and private vehicles like cars and motorcycles. Other modes of transport, like cross-border bus services, are also set to resume soon.

Vaccinated travellers crossing the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia do not need to be quarantined or undergo pre-departure or on-arrival tests.

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