Coronavirus pandemic

askST: Are informal car-pool services allowed in phase 2? Can a part-time helper clean my house?

Paid car-pool services made through booking platforms and part-time cleaners can provide their services in phase 2. PHOTOS: ST FILE

Most businesses and activities will be allowed to resume, as Singapore heads into the second phase of its reopening today. Apart from a small list of exceptions that will take longer to resume, most other activities can continue, including dining-in at eateries, home-based services and house visits. The Straits Times answers questions regarding phase two.

Q: Can I give my friends, family members or colleagues a ride?

A: Yes.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that paid car-pool services made through booking platforms can also resume. Information needed for contact tracing will be recorded at the point of booking.

But car-pool services, arranged through informal platforms like chat groups, are not allowed, as there are no means to record trip and passenger details.

"Public health must be protected. Small steps at each phase of re-opening, and we will keep going safely," he added.

Q: Can my domestic helper go out? Can I get a part-time helper to clean my house?

A: Domestic workers can meet their friends outside their place of residence, but should avoid crowded places such as City Plaza, Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza.

They should also seek their employer's consent to do so on a weekday when public places are less crowded.

Yes, part-time cleaners can provide their services at homes.

Q: Can couples or people from different households, who are not related by blood, meet?

A: Yes. Small-group social gatherings of up to five people can resume. But the Health Ministry has advised to keep one's daily number of contacts small, and preferably limited to a regular group.

Q: Must masks be worn indoors, such as when home tutors or other service providers visit?

A: Home-based cleaning services and tuition are allowed.

Masks must continue to be worn whenever outside - there is no change to this rule.

Q: Are photo shoots allowed in public, like for weddings?

A: Photographic activities, including portrait photography for weddings, passports and for commercial purposes, can resume.

Q: Can people visit columbariums?

A: Visits to Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and all government-managed columbaria in Choa Chu Kang, Mandai and Yishun are allowed.

Visitors should wear masks and keep to a safe distance of at least 1m at all times.

Families are advised to keep to, at most, five people in a group, and avoid taking elderly folk or young children, said the National Environment Agency.

Q: Will driving centres be allowed to resume and offer practical lessons?

A: Driving schools can resume business. Bukit Batok, ComfortDelGro and Singapore Safety Driving Centres said on their websites they will re-open from June 22.

Q: What are gyms doing to minimise risks of transmission?

A: Guidelines by Sport Singapore said gym users should keep communication to a minimum and not socialise. Equipment should be placed 2m apart, from edge to edge.

Coaching can continue but the trainer should be masked. Classes of up to five people can proceed.

Among other measures, all EnergyOne gyms at the six Safra clubs will apply a self-disinfecting coating on their equipment and surfaces before reopening.

Q: For apparel, fashion and footwear shops, how do they ensure hygiene when customers have to try on the clothes, accessories and shoes before buying?

A: Guidelines from Enterprise Singapore say apparel, shoes, jewellery, accessories and optical wear shops should discourage the testing and trying of products.

Products tried on by customers should be sanitised where possible, such as by steaming, cleaning, leaving overnight to air, or other reasonable methods.

Shops should limit the number of items per fitting.

As for beauty products, all testers and samples that require physical contact must be removed, like skincare or make-up products.

Q: Will serving spoons be used in dishes for hygiene purposes?

A: Guidelines from Enterprise Singapore say serving utensils should be provided for customers sharing food. Other guidelines include cleaning tables and chairs with disinfecting agents after a diner vacates the table, where possible.

Hand sanitiser should also be placed close to high-touch surfaces for employees and customers to use, where possible.

Q: When will Singaporeans be allowed to travel again for leisure?

A: Singaporeans and residents are still advised to defer all travel abroad. National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on June 9 "it would take a while" before Singapore opens up for mass market travel.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2020, with the headline askST: Are informal car-pool services allowed in phase 2? Can a part-time helper clean my house? . Subscribe