Task force to look into safe reopening of retail, F&B outlets

F&B outlets have to consider measures to put in place for safe resumption of business, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.
F&B outlets have to consider measures to put in place for safe resumption of business, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A task force, with Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat as adviser, will study how retail outlets and the food and beverage sector can resume business as Singapore gradually reopens the economy in phases.

These businesses have yet to get the green light to operate in the first phase of the opening up of the economy, but they should "actively prepare for subsequent resumption", said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing yesterday.

"Those in the retail sector with a high (business-to-consumer) touchpoint or F&B will need to start thinking about the new measures to put in place for a safe resumption of activities," he added.

The task force, which includes the Singapore Retailers Association and Restaurant Association of Singapore, is "actively looking at additional measures" that will make it safe to resume business.

The minister also said sectors like social entertainment need to think of a new business model, as activities before Covid-19 are unlikely to resume without change. They include clubs, cinemas and theatres.

"We have been very encouraged that in the last one, two months, we have seen a lot of new initiatives whereby many companies and businesses adopted digital technologies to not only retain their business, but also expand their market share," he added.

He said the Trade and Industry and Communications and Information ministries will strengthen efforts to help firms digitalise their business processes so that they can emerge stronger from the pandemic.

Aw Cheng Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2020, with the headline 'Task force to look into safe reopening of retail, F&B outlets'. Print Edition | Subscribe