Singapore has further relaxed its tour operating guidelines from 14 April, allowing groups of up to 50 pax to join in walking, cycling and kayaking trips, in addition to lifting the eight-hour cap on tour duration.
The last time the Lion City announced relaxed restrictions for the sector was in November, when participant limits were increased from 10 to 20. Capacity limits do not include the tour guide.
Now, participants must still partake in activities in sub-groups, although this can comprise eight individuals instead of the previous limit of five. As well, interactions are still allowed only within the sub-group, and the 1m safe distancing rule remains.
Masks must be donned by all involved participants, including tourists, guides and drivers, with tour agencies also expected to implement rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regimes, particularly for high-touch elements such as tour equipment and conveyance.
Prevailing requirements for safe management measures include sector-specific rules for tours, the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Performances and Other Activities - Control Order) Regulations 2020, as well as the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.
As for the application process, operators and guides will be able to send in their itineraries for approval, as well as resumption of operations in one single application moving forward, subject to approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, reported CNA.
Those who had already received prior approvals for tour resumptions since 2020 need not seek approval again.
This move is in line with the Singapore government's loosening of Covid-19 restrictions. In an earlier late-March announcement with regards to workplace measures, more employees are now allowed to return to offices as well as join social and recreational gatherings, though the latter activity is limited to the prevailing limit of eight in a group.
Another group standing to benefit from recent relaxed pandemic measures are caterers and F&B outlets — now allowed to resume buffet services, albeit under a host of new rules.
For instance, buffet stations need to be shielded by mandatory plexiglass partitions. More service staff will also be required to dish food onto plates on behalf of guests. There must also be a distance of one metre between the buffet queue and sitting area. Second helpings also require a fresh plate.
Announced in time for the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Royal Plaza on Scott's popular Carousel, as well as Grand Hyatt Singapore's Straits Kitchen have resumed halal-friendly buffets.
However, weddings and funerals are not included in this new announcement.