Circuit Breaker finally came to an end on 1st June 2020. The Singapore reopening plan announced by the government consisted of a three-phased approach aiming to gradually resume activities in Singapore safely. In this article, we shall explore more of what each phase of reopening looks like and how it affects your business.
Phase 1 – Safe Reopening
On 2 June 2020, about 75% of the economy is expected to resume. According to gov.sg, businesses that operate in settings with lower transmission risks will be allowed to reopen. This includes:
- Most manufacturing and production facilities, e.g. semiconductors and medical technology
- Most businesses with employees working in offices and settings that do not require interactions with large groups of people, e.g. finance & insurance, and IT & info services
- Healthcare services
- Selected home services
Anyone that can work remotely from home should continue to do so and only go to the office physically if necessary.
Is Your Business Ready for the Reopening?
Check here to see whether your business is permitted to physically reopen.
If your business is one of those that can be reopened, ensure your work place is set up safely and complies to government guidelines.
Phase 2 – Safe Transition
The Singapore government has announced the Phase 2 will commence Phase 2 on June 19th 2020.
During Phase 2:
- Restaurants will be reopening for dine-in customers with a maximum of five people per party and safe distancing measures in place.
- Retails shops and departmental stores will be allowed to reopen.
- Sports facilities including swimming pools will reopen to the public with safety and hygiene requirements implemented.
- Personal health and wellness services are allowed to be reopened. However, services that involves significant prolonged close contact will have to wait for later date.
Larger venues like religious services, museums, entertainment venues and night clubs will be allowed to reopen sometime in the later stage of Phase 2 with necessary precautions implemented.
Managing Your Business for Phase 2
If your business falls within Phase 2 of the re-opening, now is the time to refresh your business strategy and plan to cope with the new restrictions as Phase 2 may last for several months before the final phase commences.
Closely monitor your cash flow to ensure that you have runway for at least 4-6 months. Demand may be flat initially but should recover in a few months for retail businesses. For other types of businesses, it may take up to a year. It is crucial for SMEs to really plan and be prudent about their cash flow. You can do this by:
- cutting down non-essential expenses
- reducing fixed costs if possible, i.e. rental, staff headcount, subscriptions
- temporarily placing a freeze on new hires
- halting large commitments and investments
- making a list of priority expenditures – see whether you can negotiate for a later payment date or any reductions
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Phase 3 – The New Normal
Phase 3 is the ‘new normal’. Singapore will likely remain in this state until an effective vaccine or treatment is developed. The border will slowly reopen to allow safe travel for foreigners entering or transiting through Singapore.
During this phase, your business will now be operating in the ‘New Normal’ environment. Ensure you are up to date with all the new and updated regulations and policies that may have an impact on your business. Focus on your growth strategy cautiously.
With the proposed Singapore Reopening Phase approach, we all hope that it will be a successful one.