Covid-19 support measures for businesses, individuals to be lessened as S'pore eases curbs

This wage support, which is part of a $90 million package, will be provided from Nov 22 to Dec 19. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Support measures for businesses and individuals will be tapered off as Singapore exits its stabilisation phase and eases more Covid-19 curbs from Monday (Nov 22).

Wage support will still be provided for firms in sectors that are significantly affected by the continued measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus under the extended Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), but will be lowered from the current 25 per cent to 10 per cent.

Businesses covered include those in food and beverage, retail, family entertainment, tourism and performing arts and arts education, as well as cinemas, museums, art galleries, historical sites, gyms and fitness studios.

This wage support, which is part of a $90 million package, will be provided from Nov 22 to Dec 19, the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 announced on Saturday.

The tapering of support measures comes as Singapore further eases Covid-19 restrictions from Nov 22, with the group size for social gatherings going up from two to five. Groups of up to five will also be allowed to dine at F&B establishments even if they are not from the same households, if all diners are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the Government will be providing a half-month rental waiver for cooked food and market stallholders in centres managed by the National Environment Agency, or by operators appointed by the agency.

The Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund will also be extended to support taxi and private-hire car drivers. They will receive a $10 payout per vehicle per day in December, and a $5 payout per vehicle per day in January.

This supersedes the $5 payout per vehicle per day in December that was announced previously.

This extension is expected to benefit about 50,000 drivers. On top of the Government's assistance, taxi operators have pledged to continue rental waivers for drivers.

In a separate statement on Saturday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that as per earlier tranches of relief payments, there is no need for drivers to make an application to receive the payouts.

Drivers who are currently receiving relief payouts will automatically receive the extended payouts through their operators. Main hirers of taxis will continue to receive payouts in the form of rental rebates, while private-hire drivers will receive the payouts through their e-wallets or directly into their bank accounts.

LTA will work with the taxi and private-hire car operators to implement the latest payouts and the operators will inform drivers of disbursement details in due course, it added.

The authority also noted that drivers who do not qualify for the relief fund, including taxi relief drivers, may apply for the Ministry of Social and Family Development's Covid-19 Recovery Grant if they meet its eligibility criteria.

Drivers receiving the Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund payouts are not eligible for the Covid-19 Recovery Grant.

The task force said the $90 million support package will be funded from the higher-than-expected revenues collected to date, and there will be no further draw on past reserves.

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