Singapore businesses told to prepare for life with endemic COVID-19
As Singapore moves into a phase where COVID-19 is expected to become endemic, businesses should encourage and facilitate all medically eligible employees to get inoculated, integrate the use of Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-tests into workplace SOPs and continue with flexible work arrangements, said Singapore’s Trade and Industry minister, and co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force Gan Kim Yong.
Gan said as the local vaccination coverage increases, the new normal could see practically all social and workplace restrictions lifted – although some critical measures, such as mask-wearing and precautions for large events, will remain.
The easing of restrictions would mean more workers could return to the office, and businesses will be able to conduct face-to-face meetings, or hold team-bonding and networking activities.
The integration of the use of ART into workplace SOPs would help detect cases early and limit the extent of disruption to businesses. This is especially crucial for businesses that provide services with high touch points, or those that tap a pool of workers that frequently change.
Businesses can also strengthen their operational resilience by continuing with flexible work arrangements and having business-continuity plans in place. The government is also reviewing relaxing border restrictions safely as many parts of the economy require a steady flow of people – both workers and visitors – in and out of the country, Gan said.