1. SNBA welcomes PM Lee’s speech on the current Covid-19 situation in Singapore and the government’s plans & path to the new normal through the latest initiatives announced such as the simplified health protocols, home recovery program (HRP), and further reopening of our borders.
2. The expansion of the vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) to 11 countries in the coming weeks is a huge boost to the battered airline and tourism industry which spans over the struggling retail, F&B, and Nightlife spaces in Singapore. Just today, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has announced plans to allow unvaccinated children aged 12 and below to enter Singapore as part of the VTL arrangement slated from 18th October 2021 onwards.
3. With the latest news, SNBA has concerns that the government’s current tightened measures on F&B such as the 2-pax dine-in ruling and the restriction of hours on the sale and consumption of alcohol with no background (piped-in) music will continue to drastically affect F&B businesses as we struggle to service our local customers and prepare for international travelers. The relaxation of these rules will greatly assist in the fundamentals of the ecosystem built around F&B as we work towards the full reopening and vibrancy of our industry in due course.
4. Many advanced countries in Europe, United States, and Asia have lifted their restrictions in the past few months. They allowed for the resumption of F&B and nightlife activities for their domestic markets, with no restriction on the number of people per table. They also do not restrict or curtail alcohol services, background music, or entertainment just because of Covid-19. These countries are in the midst of re-opening their borders to attract international travelers again.
5. Singapore, as a small city-state with a very small local population, should offer a similar level of F&B and nightlife activities to compete against those re-opened borders. The danger is that when such activities are not allowed in Singapore and allowed in the VTL countries, the already battered and unfairly treated F&B and nightlife industry would suffer yet another further blow. We are literally fighting with our hands behind our backs and led to the slaughter.
6. As of today, Singapore’s nightlife activities remain not permitted to open. SNBA is of the view that the upcoming border re-opening can be a catalyst towards the gradual resumption of the nightlife sector. Therefore, it’s timely for the government to consider, piloting new nightlife concepts, as well as easing restrictions to complement/support the VTL tourists upon arrival in Singapore.
7. As PM Lee opined, Singapore is in a much better position in our fight against Covid-19 considering among others the current high national vaccination rate that Singapore has achieved, coupled with ongoing enhanced health protocols & measures to protect Singaporeans and the public, therefore, SNBA is of the view that it’s most appropriate to restart our nightlife industry safely now.
8. SNBA stands ready to work with the relevant ministries, agencies, and partners to rebuild and develop a safe, clean, and sustainable nightlife industry and play our part in bringing back the vibrancy of Singapore.
Click here for PM Lee's Address on 9 Oct