Some Karaoke Outlets & Clubs Will Reopen In Pilot, Masks & Covid-19 Tests Required

Pilot Programme For Some Clubs, Karaoke Places As They Reopen With Safe Management Measures

In Oct, the outlook for karaoke places and nightclubs was bleak, as authorities said they won’t reopen anytime soon in Phase 3.

However, some of these “nightlife establishments” – which also includes bars, pubs, and discotheques – may reopen in a modified form.

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Under a new pilot programme, some nightlife establishments will reopen and require masks on except while eating & drinking, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Friday (6 Nov).

Customers must also take a Covid-19 test 24 hours before their visit.

Pilot programme for clubs, bars, karaoke places

Nightlife establishments are seen as places where a high risk of spreading Covid-19 exists.

As such, the pilot programme will feature strict safe management measures.

They include:

  • Customers must wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking
  • No alcohol sold or consumed after 10.30pm
  • Negative Covid-19 tests for karaoke lounge & nightclub customers 24 hours before end of activity
  • CCTVs must be turned on and cover common areas as well as rooms, with recordings stored for at least 28 days

The pilot programme will begin for bars and pubs from Dec, while the programme for karaoke lounges and nightclubs will start by Jan 2021.

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This is because of the need to ensure that customers are Covid-19 negative.

The pilot for them will also last 3 months to test their readiness and whether they can reopen in future.

If any establishments breach the measures, they may be punished and removed from the pilot.

Naturally, a Covid-19 cluster will mean the pilot was a failure.

Helping establishments pivot or leave industry

There are some establishments which have suffered greatly due to Covid-19 restrictions, and some may be thinking of leaving the industry.

They can either move to F&B, or leave the industry completely.

Those who’d like to pivot to F&B can apply for an Enterprise Singapore (ESG) grant of up to $50,000.

On the other hand, some may wish to leave instead.

Hence, the Government will support them through a ESG grant of $30,000, which they have to apply for. This will cover costs of cessation.

They’ll be expected to give retrenchment benefits to employees due to their cessation, or follow retrenchment benefit norms which tripartite bodies have laid out.

Small hope for karaoke & clubs pilot

While the Government hasn’t laid out the places which will reopen, there is a small hope that the pilot will signal a return of some form of karaoke sessions or clubbing.

Clubbing and singing with masks on will become the norm. So will Covid-19 tests before either of these activities.

It’s definitely going to be a ‘new normal’, but at least these places can reopen.

Hopefully the pilot programme will be a success.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.

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