Last updated: 21 December 2021

Published on: 22 November 2021

For Information and Communications Sector

Additional Safe Management Measures for ICT Sector

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), together with SNEF and NTUC, has updated the workplace safe management measures and requirements that employers and businesses will need to put in place.

Refer to MOM’s advisory on Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the workplace, issued on 9 May 2020 and updated on 24 September 2021, for more information.

All employers and businesses, including those in the ICT sector, must comply with the MTI and MOM nation-wide advisories in all workplaces and workplace settings.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGTech have set out additional measures for certain workplace settings specific to the ICT sector. These workplace settings are:

  1. Providing onsite IT services, support or manpower at customers’ premises;
  2. Data centre operations; and
  3. ICT retail stores and e-commerce.

Employers and businesses that have operations applicable to these workplace settings must comply, not only with the measures set up by MOM, but also with the following additional measures where applicable. 

I. Providing onsite IT services, support or manpower at customers’ premises

As far as possible, minimise physical meetings, onsite work and provide support and services remotely (e.g. over the phone, teleconference). Measures to enable this could include reviewing the work processes, providing the necessary IT equipment and adopting solutions that enable remote working and IT support.

Employees visiting or working at customers’ premises must comply with the customer site’s safe management requirements (e.g. protective equipment and personal hygiene, maintaining a safe physical distance, reduce and limit physical interactions).

Brief employees on higher risk sites or locations, so that employees can take extra precautions and measures (e.g., hospitals, Government Quarantine Facilities (GQFs), foreign employee dormitories).

Where possible, assign dedicated support teams to customers, or groups of customers, to perform such services. There should not be cross deployment and interaction of teams or members servicing different customers or customer groups. If cross-deployment cannot be avoided (e.g. insufficient employees with required skills), additional safeguards must be taken to minimise the risk of cross infection (e.g. systems are in place to ensure no direct contact with the cross-deployed personnel) and put in place split teams for business continuity.

For businesses using outsourced suppliers or contractors, the same safe management measures and practices must be implemented by these outsourced parties. Interactions amongst all parties (employees, suppliers, customers, etc.) should be kept to a minimum and duration of interaction should be as short as possible. Implement staggered work or scheduling to prevent different teams from mixing.

As far as possible, do not share machinery, tools or equipment across staff, teams or customers. If there are no options (e.g. public kiosks, specialized equipment, etc.) please ensure that these are regularly cleaned and disinfected before changing hands. The sanitation and hygiene advisories disseminated by the National Environmental Agency (NEA) must be adhered to.

Keep records of employees and service providers, on shift and duty roster, and the customers and locations visited.

II. Data Centre Operations

Data centres have additional requirements as the daily operations typically includes the following:

  1. Extended access by specialized personnel and multiple parties – such as employees, vendors and contractors, facilities management, tenants and customers;
  2. Being conducted in dedicated, co-located/multi-tenanted, or part of multi-use facilities (e.g. in the case of smaller data centres, server rooms or companies such as banks hosting their own operations); and
  3. Varied activities onsite, such as expanding rack-space, fitting-out works and IT services.

As far as possible, data centre operators should minimise onsite work. Measures include:

  1. Reviewing the work processes, providing the necessary IT equipment and adopting solutions that enable secure remote access to the relevant system or equipment;
  2. Requiring functions or activities that do not need access to specialized equipment to be conducted from home, such as: business development & strategy, administrative functions (e.g. Human Resources, Finance), procurement & sourcing, sales & marketing;
  3. Informing customers of the technologies available that would allow them to manage their workloads remotely in a secure manner and suggesting to customers to test their ability to respond to events remotely before it becomes necessary to go on site; and
  4. Postponing all non-essential maintenance and projects.

Operators should coordinate safe management measures among all companies involved in the data centre operations (e.g. with third-party facility management and other outsourced services) to ensure that staff are not confused by conflicting requirements and policies.

Interactions amongst all parties (employees, suppliers, customers, etc.) should be kept to a minimum and duration of such interaction should be as short as possible.

Plan for redundant operations by creating teams of mission-critical staff, with each team comprising members that have a mix of skills/experience who can effectively manage the facility. This plan should also include team segregation between sites, and having different teams working in separate workspaces. Team members should also continue to work in the same shift to avoid cross-shift contact.

For work that is usually carried out by different groups, specialists or suppliers:

  1. Implement staggered work hours or scheduling of different activities (e.g. maintenance, testing and commissioning, fitting-out work) to prevent mingling of different teams or companies;
  2. Where possible, there should be no cross deployment of employees to different teams. If cross-deployment cannot be avoided (e.g. insufficient employees with required skills), additional safeguards must be taken to minimise the risk of cross infection (e.g. systems are in place to ensure no direct contact with the cross-deployed personnel); and
  3. Where possible, the staggered or split team arrangement should be consistent or extended to other suppliers or teams along the chain of activities, e.g. Team A should only be working with Team A from a supplier.

The frequency of cleaning and disinfection (as reasonably practicable as possible) for all common spaces should be increased, and all machinery and equipment that the on-site personnel have interacted with to be cleaned or disinfected once per every shift or team change. Ensure that machinery and equipment shared between personnel across different teams, customers or service providers, are cleaned and disinfected before changing hands. The sanitation and hygiene advisories disseminated by the National Environmental Agency (NEA) must be adhered to.

For on-site construction projects that entail major upgrades or extensions of capacity:

  1. Organisations involved should suspend all non-essential projects where possible;
  2. If the project must continue, organisations will need to coordinate with contractors to ensure all safe management measures are adopted by the subcontractors/vendors;
  3. Construction project team members should not interact with the data centre operations team members; and
  4. Construction work activities should also adhere to prevailing MOM, MOH and BCA advisories on this topic.

Only allow scheduled employees and visitors into the data centre. Minimise all unnecessary access and visits.

III. ICT Retail Stores and e-commerce

Companies should comply with prevailing advisory for safe management measures jointly issued by ESG and other government agencies for retail establishments and lifestyle-related services; food & beverage and online retail delivery.

IV. MICE AND work-related events

Companies should comply with prevailing advisory for safe management measures issued by STB for MICE events. For work-related events, such as conferences/seminars and staff training sessions, refer to MOM’s advisory on Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the workplace.

For queries and feedback, please contact IMDA at info@imda.gov.sg and SGTech at info@sgtech.org.sg

For Media Content Production Companies

The Multi-Ministry Taskforce updated on 24 August 2022 that there will be further easing of community Safe Management Measures (SMMs) from 29 August 2022. Vaccination-differentiated SMMs (VDS) will be removed for most settings. Please refer to MOH’s latest press release, https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/emerging-safer-and-stronger-together, and MOM’s latest advisories here: https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19.

All activities are subject to the Five Core Parameters (per Annex A of the press release above) and wearing of masks is still required in two specific mask-wearing settings: on public transport1, within healthcare or residential care settings2.

For business entities that are involved in content production in mask-wearing settings, please take note that the following Content Production SMMs:

  • All production areas should be cordoned off with clear signage where members of the public may be passing by
  • All personnel within the production areas should comprise only onscreen talent/performers (i.e. cast), crew, and staff (i.e. no on-site audiences or observers) 
  • While onscreen talent/performers (i.e. cast, not interchangeable with other roles) may unmask if necessary, and while there are no limits to the number of personnel onsite, these are subject to the filming venue or location owners’ permission and guidelines.

For more details, please refer to the Content Production SMMs published on the Filming in Singapore page.

1Public transport settings that require mask-wearing include all public transport (i.e., on MRT/LRT and public buses) and indoor public transport facilities (e.g. boarding areas at bus interchanges and MRT platforms).
2Healthcare facilities and residential care homes that require mask-wearing include indoor premises of hospitals and polyclinics (inclusive of retail, F&B, common areas and other facilities within the hospital/polyclinic building), private primary care and dental facilities, specialist facilities, TCM clinics, renal dialysis centres, clinical and radiological laboratories, day hospices, residential care homes (such as nursing homes), COVID-19 facilities, testing centres and vaccination centres and ambulances and medical transport vehicles.

For Cinemas

EMERGING SAFER AND STRONGER TOGETHER 

Mask-Wearing

From 29 August 2022, there is no longer a requirement for mask-wearing in cinemas.

Mask-wearing required as part of sectoral regulations, such as the Singapore Food Agency’s (SFA) requirement for food handlers to maintain good hygiene standards, will continue to apply.

Vaccination-Differentiated SMMs (VDS)

There are no changes to Vaccination-Differentiated SMMs (VDS) at this juncture.

VDS is still required in the following settings:

  1. Events with >500 participants at any one time;
  2. Nightlife establishments where dancing among patrons is one of the intended activities; and
  3. Food and beverage (F&B) establishments. Specific to F&B establishments, while VDS is still required, these establishments will no longer need to conduct VDS checks for their customers. Instead, the onus will be on the individuals dining in to abide by the rules. Random spot-checks will continue to be conducted to ensure that only fully vaccinated persons are dining in at F&B establishments.

Cinemas with halls that have a capacity of >500 pax must conduct VDS checks if hosting events other than regular cinema business (e.g. church services, live performances, conferences/seminars etc.) Only  individuals with a cleared status[1] may be admitted.

Outdoor Screenings

Outdoor screenings are permitted from 15 March 2022, subject to the mandatory SMMs for cinemas.

Cinemas must comply with the Mandatory Safe Management Measures (SMMs) for Cinemas (140.57KB)

1An individual is considered to have a cleared status if he/ she has been:
a) fully vaccinated, i.e. has received the appropriate regimen of World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines including their respective duration post-vaccination for the vaccine to be fully effective and had their vaccination records ingested in MOH’s national IT systems, 
b) recovered from COVID-19 within the last 180 days after infection, or 
c) medically ineligible for COVID-19 vaccines, with valid proof. Unvaccinated children 12 & below (i.e. born in 2010) are exempted from this requirement.
 
Cinemas refer to Golden Village, Cathay Cineplexes, Shaw Theatres, Filmgarde, WE Cinemas, The Projector, Eaglewing Cinematics, Carnival Cinemas and Salt Media@Capital Tower. Other establishments with screening venues that are allowed to open, must also comply with the mandatory SMMs for Cinemas.

For Arts Entertainment Stakeholders

Arts Entertainment Events

From 22 November 2021, group sizes for all arts and culture activities are limited to 5 persons.

 

Audience size will continue to be capped at 50 pax (without pre-event testing) or 1000 pax (with pre-event testing). Children aged 12 years and below may be exempted from pre-event testing, but the number of such children must not exceed 20% of the total audience size. Those exempted must also only be in the same group as other children in their household. However, they can be in the same group as other individuals aged 13 years and above who are either:

  1. fully vaccinated;
  2. recovered from Covid-19; or
  3. have obtained a negative result on a Pre-Event Test (PET) taken in the past 24 hours before the expected end of the event.

A maximum of 50 performers and crew are allowed on stage and backstage, of which 20 performers may be unmasked at any given time (including for singing and/or playing of instruments that require intentional expulsion of air such as wind instruments). However, there must be no singing, and no playing of instruments that require intentional expulsion of air (e.g. wind instruments), unless all performers and crew are either:

  1. fully vaccinated;
  2. recovered from Covid-19; or
  3. have obtained a negative result on a PET taken in the past 24 hours before the expected end of the event.

If these conditions are met, then all unmasked performers may sing and play instruments that require intentional expulsion of air. 

Arts Entertainment stakeholders should refer to the MOH pre-event testing microsite on how to implement pre-event testing, or email NAC_Feedback@nac.gov.sg if there are further queries.

From 1 Jan 2022, there will no longer be a concession for unvaccinated individuals to perform PET in lieu of being fully vaccinated.

Live performances in non-permitted venues (including outdoor live performances) are not allowed to take place, except for approved pilots.  The National Arts Council (NAC) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) are accepting applications for live performance pilots with audience size up to the prevailing SMMs. Arts and culture organisations may submit an application to NAC_Feedback@nac.gov.sg for NAC’s assessment. Event organisers of concerts and other events may submit their applications to leisureevents@stb.gov.sg for STB’s assessment. The application form can be found in the “Live Performance Pilot Events” section on NAC’s website. 

For the latest updates and details of the Safe Management Measures that are put in place for the Arts Entertainment sector, please refer to the relevant Advisories issued by the National Arts Council and National Heritage Board.

For more information, and for the latest updates on the COVID-19 situation, please visit the MOH’s website or call its hotline at 1800 333 9999.

For further queries or clarifications, please contact IMDA at info@imda.gov.sg or at 6377 3800.