askST: Must visitors to homes wear masks? Are staycations allowed in phase 2?

Most businesses and activities have resumed, as Singapore headed into the second phase of its reopening yesterday. The Straits Times answers questions on mask usage, staycations and other aspects of phase two.

Masks must still be worn when outside homes. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Q: Must masks be worn indoors, especially when visiting another person's home?

A: The Health Ministry said that household visitors are strongly encouraged to observe safe management principles, including wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance of at least 1m, minimising physical contact and washing hands regularly.

People should not be visiting others if they are unwell.

Masks must still be worn when outside homes.

Q: Are freelance cleaners, private dining at homes and home salons allowed?

A: Yes, such home-based services are allowed by, for instance, repairmen fixing water pipes, electricity, cable or air-conditioning problems; part-time cleaners, gardeners, tuition teachers; and day-time nannies.

Homes offering services such as private dining, hairdressing or tuition can receive up to five visitors at any one time.

Those providing services should wear masks and keep the 1m safe distancing.

As these services involve customers visiting for a prolonged period of time, the SafeEntry check-in system must be used.

Q: Must masks be worn at food and beverage outlets? How about at gyms, fitness studios, beaches and playgrounds?

A: As masks must be worn outside homes, they must be worn at all these venues.

This also applies to workplaces, from front-line staff such as food handlers, cashiers and bus drivers, to workers in offices such as pay-roll executives and data entry personnel.

Masks should be removed only when engaging in strenuous activity, and promptly put back on after.

They can also be removed when eating or drinking.

Q: Do children under 12 need to wear masks or face shields while playing in playgrounds in Housing Board estates?

A: Masks must be worn outside homes. Children aged 12 and below who may have difficulty wearing and keeping face masks on for a prolonged period can use face shields instead.

A face shield must be worn properly such that it covers the entire face, from the forehead to below the chin, wrapping around both sides of the face.

Q: Are staycations allowed in phase two?

A: Staycations are currently not allowed.

To avoid creating confusion, hotels are advised not to promote staycation packages for now.

The Singapore Tourism Board will advise on when staycations can resume.

Residents whose homes are not available due to renovations or who do not have a current place of residence for various reasons can still book hotel stays.

The same goes for healthcare workers who wish to isolate themselves from family members living in the same house.

Q: If a household already has five members, can another five visitors go over as the total number of people in the gathering will exceed five?

A: In homes, households may receive up to five visitors at any one time, regardless of the number of people already in the household.

Q: Can a family of seven from the same household dine together in a restaurant?

A: All diners, even those from the same household, should be in groups of no more than five at F&B outlets.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2020, with the headline askST: Must visitors to homes wear masks? Are staycations allowed in phase 2?. Subscribe