[COVID-19] Travel Restrictions & Stricter Safe Distancing Measures

Updated Travel Advisory and Travel Restrictions

  1. From 27 March 2020, 0900 hours, all travellers arriving in Singapore, including residents (Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents) and Long-Term Pass holders (Student’s Pass, Dependant’s Pass, Work Pass and Long-Term Visit Pass Holders), must submit a health declaration before proceeding with immigration clearance.
     
  2. They can do so up to three days prior to arrival in Singapore, and must re-submit their health declaration if there are changes to their health condition or travel history before arriving in Singapore. More details can be found here.
     
  3. Any work pass holder or his/her dependent who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020 will be deprioritised for entry approval and could see significant delays before they are allowed to return to Singapore if they persist in travelling abroad and return infected.

Stricter Safe Distancing Measures

  1. With effect from 26 March 2020, 2359 hours, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will be enforcing stricter measures to limit gatherings outside of work and school to 10 persons or fewer and ensure that physical distancing of at least on metre can be achieved in most settings where interactions are non-transient. These measures are expected to be in place until 30 April 2020 but may be extended if the situation does not improve.
     
  2. All events and mass gatherings (e.g. conferences, exhibitions, festivals, concerts, sporting events, trade fairs) must be deferred or cancelled, regardless of size. This is a tightening of the previous requirement where all events and gatherings were to be limited to fewer than 250 participants.

Enhanced Safe Distancing Measures for Businesses

  1. Existing measures for workplaces continue to apply. Employers should put in place measures to reduce close physical interactions amongst employees. Tele-conferencing should be used in place of physical meetings wherever possible. Where employees can perform their work by telecommuting from home, employers must ensure that they do so.
     
  2. The Government will close all bars and entertainment venues such as night clubs, discos, cinemas, theatres, and karaoke outlets, where there is a high risk of transmission due to sustained close contact over a period of time. Other public venues such as retail malls, museums and attractions, where contact is more transient, may remain open. However, operators are to adhere to relevant guidelines.
     
  3. Existing measures for food and beverage venues continue to apply. Other activities such as live music or karaoke which are likely to cause patrons to congregate will have to cease.
     
  4. Retail malls and attractions that are unable to adhere to these requirements must be closed. Additional penalties may be imposed on those which are found to have been a place of transmission of COVID-19, if the venues are found not to have adhered to these requirements.

TraceTogether App

  1. GovTech launched a new app to speed up contact tracing last Friday. You can be part of the contact tracing effort by sharing materials here: go.gov.sg/tt-comms-kit

[COVID-19] Additional Precautionary Measures to Prevent Further Importation of COVID-19 cases

Please see the latest Precautionary Measures to Prevent Further Importation of COVID-19 cases

Please Click the 2 Links for the Press Releases from MOM & MOH:
 
Press Release-Entry Approval Requirements-ASEAN countries Japan Switzerland and the United Kingdom from the Ministry of Manpower and Press Release-Further Border Control Measures from Ministry of Health on the above matter; as well as Minister Chan Chun Sing’s Facebook post. (https://www.facebook.com/175816112470380/posts/3039000042818625/).
 
Key updates to note:
 
Travel advisory and travel restrictions

  1. Defer all non-essential overseas travel for the next 30 days, with immediate effect. This advisory will be reviewed thereafter.
     
  2. From 16 March 2020, 2359 hours, all travellers (including Singapore Residents, long term pass holders, and short term visitors) entering Singapore with recent travel history to the following countries within the last 14 days will be issued with a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN):
     
  3. Other ASEAN countries (except for land and sea travellers from Malaysia);
     
  4. Japan;
  5. Switzerland;
  6. United Kingdom
     
  7. From 16 March 2020, 2359 hours, all short-term visitors who are nationals of any ASEAN country will have to submit requisite information on their health to the Singapore Overseas Mission in the country they are resident of before their intended date of travel. The submission will have to be approved by Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) before travel to Singapore. Short-term visitors who arrive in Singapore without the necessary approval will be denied entry into Singapore. This is in addition to the SHN requirement. 
     
  8. However, given the close proximity to Malaysia, the 14-day SHN will not apply to land and sea crossings with Malaysia. Workers who commute between the two countries will still be able to do so.
     
  9. The latest restrictions will not have any impact on the supply of food and other essentials between Singapore and Malaysia as drivers of goods vehicles will be able to enter as per normal.
     
  10. Summary list of countries/regions and border control measures:

 

Travel History in Countries/Regions   For Singapore Residents
and Long-Term Pass Holders 
For Short-Term Visitors  For Work Pass Holders (including dependents)
Hubei province (China)  14-day quarantine  Not allowed
entry or transit 
Required to
obtain the
Ministry of Manpower’s approval before entering or returning to Singapore.
 
This is regardless of the nationality
of the work
pass holder.The entry
approval requirement applies to both existing
work pass
holders and
in-principle approval holders.
Mainland China (except Hubei province), France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, and Spain  14-day SHN  Not allowed
entry or transit 
ASEAN countries
(except for land and
sea crossings from Malaysia)
 
14-day SHN  14-day SHN
with health declaration 
 
Short-term visitors who are ASEAN
nationals will
also be required to submit requisite health information for approval before travelling
Japan, Switzerland, and United Kingdom   14-day SHN 
 

[IEA] A Guide for Property Agents during COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19: A Guide for Property Agents during COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Why is IEA issuing this Guidance?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading around the world and the World Health Organization (WHO) had just declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. The spread of the infection has been accelerating in Asia and to other parts of the world, including Europe and United States of America. In response to the growing concerns about COVID-19, IEA is issuing this Guidance to help Property Agents respond to COVID-19’s potential impact on the real estate agents’ industry as the situation is rapidly evolving here and abroad.

What preventative measures may be taken to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading of COVID-19?

  • Stay home if you have a fever, cough, diarrhoea, shortness of breath or any other cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • If you are sick or feeling unwell, go consult a doctor. Be socially responsible, wear a mask. Stay home.
  • Do wash your hands frequently. If soap and water are not available, use appropriate hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or unwell.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

What issues do the COVID19 present to the real estate agents’ industry?

With an infectious disease like COVID-19, fear and anxiety may lead to social stigma and potential discrimination.  Property Agents must be mindful of their obligations and not to discriminate against any particular segment of people or clients they may come into contact with.

May I ask clients or other agents that I will be interacting with during my estate agent work if they have travelled recently, or have any signs of respiratory illness or may be feeling unwell? 

Yes, you would be prudent to ask clients or others you come in contact with during your day-to-day work about their recent travels, particularly to areas identified as having an increased risk of COVID-19. You can ask your clients or your co-broking partners the same questions based on current, factual information, updates or further verifications from our Ministry of Health: www.gov.sg

In cases where you may be driving your clients to conduct viewings, can you refuse or opt not to drive potential clients for their home searches?

Yes. However, be sure that any changes to your normal business practices are applied equally to all clients, as well as business associates. You may refuse to pick up or drive clients for viewings if they show signs of illness OR reveal recent travels to areas of increased risk of the COVID-19, OR you may instead decide to stop driving clients in your car altogether, and simply arrange to meet clients or others at the site.

If you choose to continue to ferry clients in your vehicle, it will be good if you can clean and disinfect surfaces like door handles, seats and seat belt latches, and to ask clients to use hand sanitizers when getting in and out of your car.

Should I continue to conduct open houses or continue to allow viewings on my listed properties?

Suggest you speak openly and honestly with your clients or business associates about the pros and cons of prospective viewings or conducting open houses.  Assess the risks, advise what steps or actions you expect from your clients or other agents and then direct your clients or other agents accordingly. If you do decide to conduct viewings or have open house activities, consider requiring all visitors to disinfect their hands upon entering the home, and do provide hand sanitizers. Some occupants may insist on temperature-taking, sanitisation of hands or wearing masks before permitting admission into their property.

What precautions should estate agencies consider taking in their respective offices?

KEOs should use their best judgment when formulating any precautionary plans to support their staff, agents and their clients in view of COVID-19. Implementation of temperature screening, providing hand sanitisers, proper registration of visitors and applying options or mandatory “stay-home” policy for staff and agents exhibiting signs of illness, symptoms of being unwell.  Take prudent steps or measures to ensure the office is well ventilated as many are understandably more cautious or concern about sharing an enclosed space with others. Consider postponement or cancellation of meetings or events that involves huge number of people for safety reasons.

KEOs to continue to educate staff and agents going about with their social activities and work to adhere to good social habits, responsibilities and personal hygiene.  Contact tracing is a tedious and challenging exercise. All efforts must be in place to help contain COVID-19 and prevent others from being infected within the respective estate agencies.

IEA as a responsible industry association:

As an industry body, we would like to encourage and remind our Members who are KEOs, agents and fellow practitioners to remain vigilant, be alert, practice good personal hygiene and be socially responsible to help the fight the COVID-19 together as a sector.  Property agents are already faced with many different challenges, let’s take extra precautions to look after one another especially during co-broking arrangements and also for our loved ones at home.

Don’t let your guard down, be safe! We will overcome the COVID-19 eventually. You can learn more about the COVID19 at www.who.int/COVID-19 or www.gov.sg

We attached herewith a sample of (Please Click: HEALTH DECLARATION FORM )which Property Agents may find useful. You may make necessary changes to the Declaration Form if you deem necessary. This Guidance for Property Agents is shared by the Institute of Estate Agents, Singapore (IEA) because we care. Be safe, practice social responsibilities and maintain good personal hygiene at all times.