Safe Management Measures for Private Tuition and Enrichment in Phase Two (Heightened Alert)

Published Date: 19 August 2021 12:00 PM

News Press Releases

[Updated 19 Aug 2021] In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, MOE strongly encourages that all tuition and enrichment classes be conducted online.

2. For tuition and enrichment classes that choose to continue in-person instruction, the Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) announced on 6 August 2021 that Singapore will be transiting into the endemic state in a calibrated manner, with Safe Management Measures gradually eased from Tuesday, 10 August 2021. This advisory outlines the easing of some Safe Management Measures that will take effect from 19 August 2021.

Fast and Easy Testing (FET) for cleaners operating in settings with children 12 years old and below

3. As part of enhanced national measures for workers involved in higher-risk activities, FET will be mandatory for cleaners (regardless of vaccination status) who work in private tuition and enrichment centres that have students 12 years old and below (i.e. born in 2009 or later). More details on FET can be found at https://go.gov.sg/tuition-enrichment-fet.

'Vaccinate or Regular Test' Requirement for Private Tuition and Enrichment from 1 October 2021

4. From 6 August through 30 September 2021, all tutors, instructors or staff working in private tuition and enrichment centres that have students 12 years old and below are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated if they have not done so, to protect this vulnerable segment of our population.

5. From 1 October 2021, the "Vaccinate or Regular Test" regime will commence for these staff. Unvaccinated tutors, instructors or staff (including part-time, freelance, or ad-hoc staff) working in private tuition and enrichment centres that have students 12 years old and below will be required to undergo FET twice a week. Only fully vaccinated persons will be exempted from regular testing. Centres will be responsible for implementing the “Vaccinate or Regular Test” regime. The “Vaccinate or Regular Test” requirement is in addition to the requirement for all cleaners operating in settings with children 12 years and below to undergo FET. MOE will provide more details in the coming weeks.

Safe Management Measures in Centres with On-Premise Instruction

6. [Updated 19 Aug 2021] To reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19, centres with on-premise instruction are required to abide by the nationwide safe management measures for workplaces. These include the use of SafeEntry to support contact tracing for all employees, students and other visitors, wearing of masks at all times, and regular cleaning of common facilities and high-touch areas. In accordance with the national posture, temperature screening requirements can be removed.

Safe Management Measures for Centres Allowed to Continue On-Premise Instruction

7. All classes involving indoor mask-off activities, singing classes, as well as classes involving the playing of instruments that require the intentional expulsion of air (e.g. wind/brass instruments) may resume, subject to different class size and group size limits, depending on the activity, setting and vaccination1 status of students:

  1. For all sport or physical activity classes, as well as outdoor dance classes, please refer to the Sport Singapore advisory, available at: https://www.sportsingapore.gov.sg/Newsroom/Media-Releases.
  2. For indoor dance classes, singing, the playing of instruments that require the intentional expulsion of air (e.g. wind/brass instruments), voice training, and speech and drama classes, please refer to the National Arts Council's advisory, available at https://www.nac.gov.sg/whatwedo/support/sustaining-the-arts-during-covid-19/Safe-Management-Measures-for-the-Arts-and-Culture-Sector.html.
  3. All coaches, instructors and staff who come into contact with participants/students who are engaged in unmasked activities, including but not limited to dance, singing, the playing of instruments that require the intentional expulsion of air (e.g. wind/brass instruments), voice, theatre training (including speech and drama, actor training), physical education and other sports-related activities are required to undergo FET. For more details on the implementation of FET for these sectors, please refer to the National Arts Council website, available at: https://www.nac.gov.sg/whatwedo/support/sustaining-the-arts-during-covid-19/Fast-and-Easy-Testing-for-Higher-Risk-Arts-Instruction-Activities.html, and ActiveSG's notification, available at: https://www.myactivesg.com/read/2021/7/a-safe-and-gradual-resumption-of-sport-and-fitness-activities-with-mandatory-fast-and-easy-testing.

8. All centres conducting on-premise instruction (whether indoors or outdoors), are expected to observe all the following measures in classrooms and other areas accessed by students. For avoidance of doubt, these measures apply to all classes, including sports or physical activity, dance, singing, the playing of instruments that require the intentional expulsion of air (e.g. wind/brass instruments), voice training, and speech and drama classes, except where there are additional safe management measures, as set out in Para 7.

a. Safe distancing. Safe distancing measures for centres which are allowed to continue on-premise instruction include:

  1. Students: Centres must ensure safe distancing between students by putting up appropriate floor demarcations and/or physical barriers, e.g. using safety tape. There must also be strict separation between students in different classrooms at all times, with no intermingling.
    • As a default, centres must ensure that students maintain safe distancing of at least 1m at all times, with strictly no physical interaction between students.
    • If it is not possible to apply 1m safe distancing between students and some interaction is unavoidable, centres may instead organise students into groups of no more than 5 students, with strictly no physical interaction or intermingling between different groups. Centres must strictly maintain a minimum of 1m spacing between groups, although MOE advises 2m spacing between groups as a best practice.
  2. Tutors/instructors: Tutors/instructors are advised to minimise contact with students. If some interaction is unavoidable, contact with students should be transient. Tutors/instructors should remain at the front of the class as much as is practicable.
  3. Capacity: No single room within a centre should hold more than 50 persons, including tutors/instructors, even as the above measures are adopted.
  4. [Updated 19 Aug 2021] Centres are also reminded that per MOM's guidelines for workplaces, should there be staff deployed on site, centres must ensure that there is no cross-deployment across worksites.No staff should work at more than one worksite to reduce the risk of infection caused by inter-mingling. More information on prevailing workplace SMMs can be found on the MOM website (https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/requirements-for-safe-management-measures).

b. Health declarations. Centres should not permit students who are placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) or Approved Absence (AA) by their schools, or students and staff who are on a Stay Home Notice (SHN), or Home Quarantine Order (HQO) to enter the centre premises. We also advise centres to watch out for staff and students with fever or respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing, breathlessness, runny nose, loss of smell, cough, or sore throat. Staff and students with the above symptoms or are unwell should be advised to leave the centre and see a doctor immediately, and should not be allowed to attend lessons. As a best practice, centres should also check if a family member living in the same household is unwell. If so, the child should not attend lessons in person.

c.Disinfection of surfaces. All surfaces in classrooms must be thoroughly disinfected between classes. Sharing of all equipment (e.g. props, music scores, and microphones) should be avoided as far as possible. If this cannot be done, the equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected before being handled or used by others. However, please note that sharing of wind/brass instruments or parts thereof (e.g. mouthpieces, reeds) is not allowed.

d. Masks must be worn as a default at all times, except for persons allowed to use face shields instead of masks (e.g. persons with health conditions resulting in breathing/medical difficulties when a mask is worn for a prolonged period). Instructors are expected to wear a surgical mask or reusable masks of equivalent effectiveness at all times.

e. Class timings. Centres should allocate at least 15 minutes between classes. This is to allow adequate time to disinfect classroom surfaces, and to ensure strict separation of individuals from different classes. Centres should also work out attendance and dismissal arrangements that help avoid congestion of individuals in or outside the centre.

f. Ventilation. All premises should abide by the latest guidance on improving ventilation and indoor air quality in buildings amid the COVID-19 situation, available at: https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/public-cleanliness/environmental-cleaning-guidelines/advisories/guidance-on-improving-ventilation-and-indoor-air-quality-in-buildings-amid-the-covid-19-situation.

9. Centres should also abide by other sector-specific Safe Management Measures available on the GoBusiness website, and to prevailing circulars issued by the Government.

Indoor Live Performances

10. All indoor live performances by tuition and enrichment centres should continue to be deferred/postponed until further notice, to reduce the risk of transmission.

[Updated 19 Aug 2021] Workforce Arrangements for Tuition and Enrichment Centres

11. In accordance with MOM’s guidelines, up to 50% of employees who can work from home can return to the workplace. For employees who must return to the workplace, tuition and enrichment centres are required to abide by all prevailing safe management measures for workplaces, found at the MOM website (https://mom.gov.sg/covid-19/requirements-for-safe-management-measures). These include health checks, the use of SafeEntry to support contact tracing for all employees, wearing of masks at all times and regular cleaning of common facilities and high-touch areas. Details are available at the GoBusiness website (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/general).

Private Tuition / Enrichment in Private Residences

12. Home-based tuition/enrichment which run in-person lessons are subject to the prevailing national group size limit and number of unique household visitors allowed per day.

13. In addition, home ventilation should be improved by opening doors and windows. Fans can be used to promote air circulation when needed.

14. More information about safe management measures for home-based services are available at the MOH website (https://moh.gov.sg/covid-19/faqs).

Safeentry and Tracetogether Programme

15. On 4 May 2021, the MTF announced that TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SafeEntry) will be implemented at all venues that experience higher throughput of visitors, and/or where people are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods from 17 May 2021. The TT programme and SafeEntry are important digital tools that enable contact tracers to quickly identify and isolate close contacts of Covid-19 cases. This helps to break transmission chains and prevent community outbreaks. TT tokens may be collected at designated collection points (please refer to https://token.gowhere.gov.sg for more information).

16. TT-only SafeEntry must be implemented, in your premises, and entry to your centres will be allowed only if the individual uses their TT App to scan the centre's QR code or presents the QR code on the TT token to be scanned. This includes staff, students aged 7 years and above, parents and other visitors.

17. It is mandatory for all tuition and enrichment centres to deploy SafeEntry Gateway (SEGW) to facilitate SafeEntry (SE) check-in for students aged 7 years and above, parents, staff and visitors, and help users check that their TT token is working. Tuition and enrichment centres are reminded to download the SafeEntry (Business) app to use the SEGW function, or register for a SEGW box on the SE website (go.gov.sg/gateway-overview).

18. At the point of entry into the centres, if any student forgets to bring their TT token, they should be asked to download the TT app on their phones before they are allowed entry. However, if the student is unable to do so (e.g. phone is out of battery), the student's personal details should be noted down as a last resort, before the individual is granted entry. The centre should retain all such records for at least a month to facilitate contact tracing if necessary.

19. Business may refer to the SafeEntry User Guide for requirements on how to scan the TT tokens, available at https://www.safeentry.gov.sg (please navigate to Resources > User Guide > SafeEntry NRIC User Guide for Business).

20. Updates may also be found at https://www.smartnation.gov.sg/media-hub/press-releases.

Inspections

21. Tuition and enrichment centres are responsible for ensuring that all safe management measures are implemented in their premises at all times. To ensure compliance, inspectors from MOE will be conducting inspections to check on the proper implementation of the SMMs. Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. For subsequent offences, they may face a fine of up to S$20,000, imprisonment of up to twelve months, or both.

22. Businesses that do not implement or comply with the government's SMMs may be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance, and may also be subject to temporary closures.

Updates and Clarifications

23. There will be regular review of measures and requirements as the COVID-19 situation evolves. For updates, please refer to the GoBusiness website (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg).

24. For clarifications, please refer to the following:

Agency Contact
MOE FAQs: https://moe.gov.sg/faqs-covid-19-infection

You may also contact MOE at https://www.moe.gov.sg/contact
ECDA You may contact ECDA at contact@ecda.gov.sg
National Arts Council You may contact NAC at NAC_Feedback@nac.gov.sg
Sport Singapore You may contact SportSG at https://members.myactivesg.com/feedback

Footnotes
  1. An individual is considered vaccinated if he/ she has been: (a) fully vaccinated, i.e. has received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnatry, Moderna or World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines, with an additional two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective; (b) recovered from COVID-19; or (c) has obtained a negative result on a pre-event test taken in the past 24 hours before the expected end of the event.
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