MOE strongly encourages that all tuition and enrichment classes be conducted online. For centres that continue on-premise instruction, to reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19, they 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. More details are available at the GoBusiness website (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/general/).
In accordance with MOM’s guidelines, up to 50% of employees who can work from home can return to the workplace.
As part of enhanced national measures for workers involved in higher-risk activities, Fast and Easy Testing (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.
As a default, the following applies to all centres conducting on-premise instruction (whether indoors or outdoors and regardless of activity), except where there are additional safe management measures that apply for higher-risk activities such as 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 (please refer to Q3 and Q4 for details for these classes).
a. Safe distancing. Safe distancing measures for centres which are allowed to continue on-premise instruction are:
i. 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 all 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.
ii. Tutors/instructors: Tutors/instructors are advised to minimise contact with students. If some interaction is unavoidable, contact with students should be transient, and they should remain at the front of the class as much as is practicable.
iii. Capacity: No single room within a centre should hold more than 50 persons, including tutors/instructors, even as the above measures are adopted.
iv. Centres are also reminded that per MOM’s guidelines for workplaces, should there be staff deployed on site, centres must strictly ensure that there is be 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 sense of smell, cough, or sore throat. Staff and students with the above symptoms or who 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, 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 must 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 on the NEA website.
Centres should also abide by other sector-specific Safe Management Measures available on the GoBusiness website, and to prevailing circulars issued by the Government.