Singapore cuts back number of staff allowed in the office

In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, employers need to reduce the number of staff in the office from the current 75% back to 50%.
By: | May 5, 2021

Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force handling Singapore’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the measures are necessary to deal with the increasing number of locally-transmitted pandemic cases in the community. 

The Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster and the cluster involving the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer have been associated with a viral variant from India, he said, adding that “the new variant strains have higher attack rates, more infections, larger clusters than before. We tried to ring-fence through contact tracing, but we must assume that there are still hidden cases out there in the community”. 

Companies currently are allowed up to 75% of their staff to work from their offices, but from May 8, they will need to reduce the percentage to 50%. 

In addition, the Ministry of Health has advised employers to continue to stagger the start times of their staff and implement flexible working hours. Social gatherings at workplaces are also discouraged. 

The deadline for mandatory check-ins at venues using either the TraceTogether app or token at venues for contact tracing will also be brought forward to May 17 from June 1, to facilitate contact-tracing. 

READ: Singapore to expand scope of progressive wage model

This means people will no longer be allowed to digitally check in by scanning a venue’s SafeEntry QR code with their phone camera or the Singpass app from May 17. The scanning of barcodes on personal identification cards to check in to venues will still be allowed until May 31.