The Singapore Tourism Board has recently announced a $45 million campaign for local tourism, encouraging local residents to take “Singapolidays” to scratch their itch for a vacation and cure their cabin fever.
With hotels able to apply for approval to resume operations now, Singaporeans may want to take a break from their work-from-home schedule and recover from burnout
However, these re-openings come with certain restrictions, and you might want to take note of these things before booking your next staycation.
#1 Your Hotel May Be Housing SHN Residents
Out of the 127 hotels approved for staycations (as of 24 July), some of them may have rooms housing people on SHN(Stay-Home Notice). In fact, it was revealed that over half of all 67,000 hotel rooms in Singapore are being used as isolation and quarantine facilities.
To ensure the safety of guests and the public, hotels have in place stringent measures, such as having to dedicate floors, wings or tower blocks for SHN purposes.
Hotels will also have to make sure that the person serving their SHN would not encounter any other guest or visitor, and to display visible notices that the hotel is providing COVID-19-related accommodation.
#2 Check-Ins And Check-Outs Will Be Staggered, And Will Be Different Than Usual
Even before entering the hotel, there would be a mandatory screening, and anyone showing symptoms of the virus being barred from entry. SafeEntry will also be compulsory to facilitate contact tracing.
Once in the hotel, you will need to declare while checking in your purpose in staying at the hotel. You will also need to declare if you are a holder of a work pass. This declaration will be kept under record for no less than 28 days after the end of your stay.
Check-in and check-out times would have to be staggered too, and hotels are encouraged to implement online check-ins, as well as having key drop and express check-out options. In-room versions of such check-ins and check-outs may be possible too, due to the restrictions in space in hotel lobbies.
#3 Phase 2 Safe Distancing Restrictions Still Apply
Hotels will still have the same restrictions as other places or homes in Singapore regarding Phase 2. These include having to wear a mask unless in your hotel room, exercising or eating. Gatherings in hotel rooms themselves are only limited to 5 people unless the gathering wholly consists of people from the same household (same address).
Ensuring 1-metre spacing where possible is mandatory too, with hotels having to space all seats at lobbies further apart. Capacity is limited, and floorings would be demarcated for social distancing places in common places such as lobbies, lifts and smoking areas.
#4 Hotel Services, Offerings And Protocols May Be Different
During the pandemic, hotels would have to limit their services and offerings and even set up more protocols to ensure guest’s safety.
These include limiting lobbies to having one guest or visitor per 10 square metres of space in the lobby. This restriction excludes staff, delivery personnel, contractors and other individuals who are not guests or visitors.
Housekeeping may also be provided in a opt-in basis, if you are staying for more than a day. At the same time, virtual key cards and easily accessible disinfecting agents like hand sanitisers and wipes would be more common, with the disinfecting agents being mandatory. Single-use items instead of reusable items like cloth napkins are also recommended.
Lastly, you may see hotels offering flexible cancellation plans, with some even offering cancellations of up to 24 hours before your day of stay. Hotels are also offering a myriad of staycation packages, which you may check out from the Singapore Hotel Association’s website.
#5 Food And Beverages Services Will Be Provided Differently
Due to guidelines and recommendations on how hotels should serve food to their guests, you should expect some changes from what you were used to.
Hotels are now recommended to serve welcome drinks in guest’s rooms, and not in the front desk. Minifridges in rooms are also recommended to be on-demand and delivered only upon request. Common ice machines and water coolers in hotels will also be disabled.
Note that self-service buffets are still suspended in Singapore and restaurants would need to follow the same guidelines for F&B establishments. In their place might be a la carte options or staff directly delivering buffet items to you.
#6 Amenities Are Subject To The Same Guidelines
Gyms, Pools and Spas are open but subject to the same guidelines as all other amenities of the same type in Singapore.
These include having capacity constraints and mandatory 3-metres distancing between groups, which are also capped at five persons. You can refer to the general regulations by Sport Singapore.
Spas in Singapore would need to follow regulations laid out by Enterprise Singapore, including having to use single-use beauty products and having only one therapist to a customer wherever possible.
These guidelines also mean that hotels may start booking services for such amenities, due to them having to manage capacities in such areas.
Don’t Expect The Same Staycations Like Before
Staycations in Singapore are one of the ways people are taking breaks away from their work-from-home burnout. With the government looking and supporting these staycations to help support the hospitality industry, it might seem attractive to grab one now.
However, with regulations to help prevent a spread of COVID-19, you can now resume staycations to take a break from daily life, but just don’t expect your stay to be exactly the same as your prior experiences.