Singapore is Returning to Phase 2: Here are 4 Things Businesses Need to Know

Written by
Zachary Pestana
Last Modified on
December 19, 2023

By now, many of you would’ve heard the news of tighter COVID-19 restrictions being implemented across the country, following the sudden rise of clusters within the community. On May 4, the Education Minister and Co-Chair of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF), Lawrence Wong, announced that Singapore will be “effectively back” to Phase 2 from May 8 to May 30. 

After having a consistent track record of little to no community cases in the last few months, along with being recognised as the ‘world’s best place to be during COVID’, this is considered to be the “worst spate of COVID-19 community infections in close to a year”. 

As we gear up for what’s to come, here are 4 things businesses across all sectors need to know. 

4 Things You Must Know as We Re-Enter Phase 2 

1. Office capacity reduced to 50%, down from 75%  office capacity 


In line with the enhanced Phase 2 rules, companies and their staff are strongly urged to return to flexible work arrangements and staggered working hours, and work from home as far as possible. Compared to the current rules that allow for 75% capacity in the workplace, no more than 50% of staff should be in the office at any one time. 

If the nature of your business allows for it, do prioritise work-from-home or remote arrangements as much as you can to safeguard the well-being of your employees.

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2. Social gathering size cut down from 8 to 2 people 


Social gatherings will now be capped at groups of five, down from the previous capacity of eight people. In the same way, house visits will also go down to five visitors a day as well. Individuals are also advised to limit their social gatherings to two a day or even fewer to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. 

Out of all the industries, businesses in the F&B, events, and relevant service sectors will be the most impacted by this shift. To adapt to this change, these industries will need to take on sector-specific measures such as turning to digital solutions and platforms to conduct operations or the digitisation of customer interaction. 

Pro tip: To bring your business online with ease, tap into delivery platforms or online shopping marketplaces to reach customers beyond your physical store. To get started, here are 4 simple ways to start selling on Shopee to boost sales! 

3. Temporary closure of gyms and fitness studios nationwide


To cope with isolation and the happening all around us, many working Singaporeans have turned to exercise during the pandemic. Unfortunately, fitness enthusiasts will have to turn to home workouts for now as indoor gyms and fitness studios are set to close during this time. 

But despite the closure of indoor venues, organised outdoor exercises classes may still commence as long as each class is capped at 30 participants. 

Pro tip: Since the gyms are closed, why not bring your classes online? Whether you’re providing a virtual fitness class or a comprehensive course, selling it on an e-commerce platform is a simple process. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a list of the top 10 e-commerce business courses for beginners in Singapore. 

4. Capacity limit at major venues and events 


From business-to-business (B2B) gatherings, music performances, to weddings, the gradual reintroduction of pilot events has brought about a resurgence in the local events industry this year—considering the tumultuous storm they had to weather in 2020. 

But with the new restrictions, venues and events will be heavily impacted as well. If you are in the business of events and venues, here’s a list of things you need to take note of: 

  • Weddings with over 50 people and congregational gatherings with more than 100, attendees will be required to undergo pre-event testing before entering the venue
  • Funerals and cremation ceremonies are capped at 30 attendees from 50 
  • Sports events involving spectators and mass participation will also be suspended in the meantime
  • The maximum capacity for live performances, B2B events, and cinemas will be significantly reduced from 750 to 250 
  • For tour operators, the maximum tour size has been cut down from 50 people to 20
  • Operating capacity at cinemas have been reduced from 65% to 50% 

If you are organising an event such as a music performance or a business seminar, tap into live streaming services to maximise your exposure beyond your physical attendance and provide a channel of communication for your audiences to interact with you. 

Navigating the pandemic with caution  

While this crisis is unlikely to hinder Singapore’s progress and recovery as a whole, we must still be cautious and take the necessary steps to keep our companies, employees, customers, and ourselves safe. If Singaporeans cooperate and comply with the new measures, there’s a good chance that we’ll be seeing a decrease in case numbers and clusters, ultimately bringing us back to where we were with the situation under control. 

Looking to bring your business transactions online without the hassle? Sign up with Aspire today. No physical branch visits, no long lines, and no hefty documentation. Its an all in one finance operating platform for your business.

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About the author
Zachary Pestana
is a seasoned writer in market trends and business thought leadership. With a writing history at Incorp Global, MOQdigital, and AIESEC Australia, Zachary leverages his broad range of experiences to stimulate industry conversations and engage audiences.
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