More businesses to resume ops; one-third of workers can work on-site

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From June 2, more businesses can resume operations with about one-third of workers able to return to work on-site as Singapore gradually eases restrictions imposed to stem the spread of Covid-19.

First to get the nod to reopen will be businesses that operate in settings with lower transmission risks, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing yesterday.

These include manufacturing and production facilities in the semiconductor, medical technology and aerospace sectors, as well as wholesale trade and finance companies.

Such businesses will get a class exemption to reopen, which means they can do so without seeking permission.

But they must submit information on workers required on-site - for instance, those who need to use machinery or specialised terminals - via the GoBusiness portal and do so within two weeks of reopening.

Most retail shops and personal services will stay shut.

Dining in will not be allowed.

But some limited consumer services can resume from June 2.

For instance, hairdressers and barbers can offer full services. Motor vehicle servicing, air-conditioner servicing and basic pet services are also on the list, among others.

About one-third of the workers in Singapore are expected to resume work on-site from June 2, up from the 17 per cent now. The rest will continue to work from home, said Mr Chan.

"This will allow more than three-quarters of our economy to resume their normal operations," he added.

Businesses must ensure that health and safety measures are in place. Mr Chan stressed that priority was given to workers' health and well-being in the ministry's decision to let some industries reopen.

Staggered work hours, a ban on interactions among workers from different teams and ensuring a requisite level of hygiene and cleanliness are among other measures that firms need to take.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said yesterday that financial institutions can reopen more customer service locations from June 2.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will announce a new round of Covid-19 support measures for businesses and individuals next Tuesday in Parliament.