Inquiries flood in over plans to restart nightlife under pilot
60 of these inquiries are on pilot scheme, which is capped at 25 places
About 60 inquiries have been made about a pilot programme announced last Friday as part of efforts to reopen nightlife businesses.
The Singapore Nightlife Business Association (SNBA) said yesterday that it has so far received about 150 inquiries, of which about 40 per cent were on the pilot scheme.
The remaining 60 per cent were divided equally between those interested in pivoting to other business lines and those wanting to exit the sector.
The queries were mostly on the application process and eligibility criteria, SNBA said yesterday.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry said last Friday that the two-month pilot for bars and pubs will begin by next month, while the three-month pilot for karaoke lounges and nightclubs will start in January next year.
The pilot is capped at 25 establishments - 10 bars and pubs, 10 karaoke joints and five clubs.
SNBA president Joseph Ong said: "What we wanted to do was to make sure that we push (the pilot) out as quickly as possible and get it going. Then we will be in a good position to request for more pilots."
Applications will open tomorrow and the deadline of Nov 15 may be extended to Nov 23.
The nightlife industry is among the worst hit by the pandemic, with many crippled or closing after nine months of not being able to operate.
Those reopening under the pilot scheme must observe strict safe management measures such as wearing of masks on the dance floor and showing proof of negative Covid-19 tests before entering. As with food and beverage (F&B) outlets, no alcohol can be sold, served or consumed after 10.30pm.
NO LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Releasing more details yesterday, SNBA said live entertainment will not be allowed.
Karaoke joints can allow groups of up to five to sing in enclosed rooms, with disinfection and airing for at least 15 minutes between groups.
Nightclubs can have two zones of 50 people each, with groups of up to five kept 2m apart with measures such as floor markings or physical barriers on the dance floor.
Pre-opening and post-opening checks will be conducted.
SNBA said the authorities will assess the pilot applications based on criteria such as the robustness of proposed safe-management measures.
Those opting to pivot to a food and beverage business may apply for a temporary 12-month conversion and a grant of up to $50,000.
From now till the end of next March, those who choose to leave the industry can apply for an ex-gratia payment of $30,000 to defray costs and retrenchment benefits for staff.