SINGAPORE – Discos and karaoke singing under the government’s proposed nightlife pilot program will only be open to local residents and those with work cards, who must prove they have passed a test Covid-19 in the last 24 hours before it can enter a joint.
The clubs that are part of the pilot project will have a maximum capacity of 100 people, with separate dance and dining areas that can accommodate 50 people each. In addition to wearing masks on the dance floor, customers should stay 2 m from other groups, indicated by ground markings and physical barriers. No entertainment and live performances will be allowed either.
During this time, karaoke establishments will be allowed to accommodate groups of up to five people in closed rooms which will need to be cleaned, disinfected and aired for 15 minutes between groups. Eating and drinking will be permitted in the rooms.
In both types of locations, no host will be allowed to be deployed to interact with guests, in order to reduce interactions.
The safe management measures proposed for frequenting nightclubs and karaoke establishments, as well as the conditions for businesses to pivot in and out of the industry, were among the details shared by the Singapore Nightlife Business Association (SNBA) at a conference. press release Monday 9 November.
Last week, the government announced that there will be a cap of 25 establishments that can participate in a two to three month pilot program to reopen entertainment venues here, with strict security management measures in place.
The pilot project for pubs and bars is expected to start by December, while that for karaoke establishments and nightclubs will not start until January of next year. As part of the pilot project, pubs and bars will be subject to the same rules as restaurants, and their customers will not be required to undergo Covid testing prior to entry.
SNBA said it has received around 60 requests since last Friday from companies wishing to participate in the pilot program.
But while there has been a lot of “interest and excitement” in the pilot, given its experimental nature, SNBA chairman Joseph Ong warned that participation would be “onerous,” given its experimental nature. strict rules.
Mr Ong compared it to “a phase one clinical trial, where the samples are very small and the observation period quite long, with possible changes in test parameters along the way.”
“They should therefore not be seen as an alternative to reopening operators,” explains Mr. Ong. “They are unlikely to be selected, and the trial requires extreme planning and care.”
The final decision on which establishments will be selected for the pilot project will be taken jointly by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Interior.
Companies that are part of the pilot will have to bear the costs of the Covid-19 tests for customers, which the association estimates to cost between $ 30 and $ 100 per test.
“We hope that anyone who comes to us with proposals for the pilot takes into account that customers are likely to have to absorb the cost of testing,” Ong said.
However, the SNBA has also said it will look to partner with clinics and companies that perform testing, in hopes of cutting costs.
Along with an industry-wide briefing on the different options for business owners, SNBA said it will be releasing an online application form for nightlife businesses – namely bars on Wednesday. , pubs and nightclubs – interested in joining the pilot project. Applications for karaoke establishments will be processed by the Singapore Entertainment Affiliation (SEA).
The government announced last week that nightlife establishments not participating in the pilot projects can apply for financial support programs to turn to restaurant operations or other commercial uses with a grant of up to $ 50. $ 000 from Enterprise Singapore (ESG). They can also choose to opt out, subject to a one-time payment of $ 30,000 to cover the costs of going out of business. Applications for both should be made by March 31.
So far, SNBA has received around 90 queries about the pivot and exit options, the first of which includes a temporary 12-month license change – from nightlife to dining or commercial activities – which will be ramped up.
The pivot grant will cover costs such as renovations and third-party consultant fees, and includes a 20 percent cash advance.
As the nightlife scene is among the latest industries to reopen, SNBA Secretary Andrew Ing said he hoped the pilot program could be a model to kickstart the takeover process and reopen businesses from safe nightlife.
“It’s about trying to find something that will work in the industry, over the long term, until a vaccine is found,” said Ing.
“We also hope that operators come up with their own innovative ideas on how their customers will be protected… It’s not easy, because nowhere in the world has anyone found a good way to do it.”
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This article first appeared in The times of the straits. Permission required for reproduction.