Implementation Of New COVID-19 Guidelines And How It Impacts The Singapore Tourism Industry


PM Lee Speech
Photo credit: Ministry of Communications and Information

The time has finally come. We have all been waiting for the restrictions to ease ever since the pandemic began in 2020. After waiting and hearing about how travel companies can cope over the years such as introducing vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) and many other restrictions such as quarantines and isolation, many of us have been very uncertain to think of travelling let alone actually having plans to travel abroad. Here are some of the guidelines mentioned by Mr Lee which will help the tourism industry.


1. Optional wearing of Masks

People wearing masks in Singapore
Photo credit: Reuters

At the start of the pandemic when the cases were rising, PM Lee announced the implementation of the new rule to wear a mask when you are out in public. You were only allowed to remove your masks when you are dining in or exercising. Failure to comply with these rules would result you in paying a fine of up to $300 for first-time offenders. Since the new Safe Management Measure (SMM) guidelines got revised today on 24 March 2022, masks would be made optional for when you are outdoors maintaining a 1 metre distance only from 29 March 2022 since “the risk of outdoor transmission is significantly lower” as mentioned by PM Lee. However, we would still have wear masks when we are indoors.


What it means for the tourism industry:


This would mean well for tour companies and leisure events as they will now get to interact with guests and guides comfortably. For hotel industries with outdoor activities such as using the amenities, they will be able to reduce monitoring within those areas allowing guests to have a wonderful stay with them. Meanwhile outdoor cruise and attractions will be experiencing the full benefits of mask removal allowing their guests and staff to be able to enjoy themselves without the masks restricting them.


2. Increase in capacity limit for larger events by 75%

Changi Airport tour

To prevent the infection of COVID-19 from spreading, many events over the past two years have been cancelled or postponed aligning with the SMM guidelines. While it has been re-introduced in the past year to a capacity limit of 50% for settings with more than 1000 pax, it has still been a struggle to enjoy events like we used to such as tours, weddings, gala dinners, and many more. Fortunately, since the cases in Singapore has been improving, smaller settings/events with less than 1,000 pax may proceed without being subject to any capacity limit. Meanwhile, larger settings/events with more than 1,000 pax which are mask-on, will be subjected to operating within 75% of the capacity limit of the venue. For mask-off events, individuals or groups of individuals up to the prevailing group size will be required to comply with the 1 metre safe distancing requirement.

What it means for the tourism industry:


This is a big blessing as it allows all the different companies in the tourism industry such as events, tour industry, attractions and hotels to get more people to get on board with us. Companies from the tour industry and events industry will get to plan ahead and include more locations for guests to participate in and enjoy! This includes more seats in events, attractions and tours. Meanwhile, hotels and attractions can increase group events taking place.


3. Doubling group size from 5 pax to 10 pax


Families with more than 5 pax can finally rejoice! Previously when the cases were uncertain and rising and falling, Singapore had to keep going back to circuit breaker where group sizes were constantly changing from 5 to 2. Thankfully, we will now be able to travel in groups of up to 10 pax.

What it means for the tourism industry:


Companies will now be able to conduct their services to be inclusive of larger groups. This will also allow others to get to know each other better and include more guests to join for any tours, cruise and MICE/ Leisure events. Companies that include dining in do not have to worry about seating larger groups separately. Every company in the tourism industry which require travelling in groups may now expand the size, helping guests to enjoy a good time.


4. Travelling restrictions to ease

Easing of Travel Restrictions
Photo credit: Austrian Airlines

And finally saving the best one for the last, the one we have been waiting for, easing of the travel restrictions! Yes, you can finally start making plans to travel abroad. From 1 April 2022, all vaccinated travellers may enter Singapore without having to quarantine and without having to get on VTL flights. COVID-19 testing is also not needed when in Singapore while you have to take a pre-departure test 2 days before hand. Singaporeans will also be able to travel freely abroad similar to pre-covid.

What it means for the tourism industry:


Companies such as tours and cruise industry will now get to incorporate overseas plans for guests to join and expect more tourists coming to Singapore! This will in turn give them an upper hand as they can plan ahead. Meanwhile, hotels, attractions and cruise industries can look forward to welcoming overseas visitors to Singapore! MICE and Leisure events can now incorporate overseas travelling for team bonding activities and camping.


Conclusion


While changes have slowly been made throughout the years, this new set of COVID-19 guidelines are definitely the big news that the Singapore tourism industry have been wanting to hear after a two-year hiatus. These pivoting measures should definitely open new doors and opportunities for the tourism industry and many travel businesses are now hopeful for business to get back to pre-covid as time goes by, including Monster Day Tours. Get ready for more to come as this is only the beginning!

To prepare for this new announcement, Monster Day Tours have also resumed most of our free walking tours and private tour. Feel free to check them out here and reach out to us anytime if you are coming to visit Singapore.


Free Walking Tours: https://www.monsterdaytours.com/singapore-free-walking-tours Private Tours: https://www.monsterdaytours.com/singapore-private-tours

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