Tourism Board guided by MOH ’s judgment on second wave risks
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will stand guided by the Ministry of Health's (MOH) assessments on the risks of Singapore facing a second wave of infection, STB chief executive Keith Tan said on Tuesday.
He was responding to queries from the media about concerns of a "second wave" of infections and whether STB would consider holding off the $45 million domestic campaign should that happen.
Mr Tan said: "We don't have any specific numbers, targets or thresholds, we will have to be guided by the advice of the MOH and its assessments on whether there could be a second wave in Singapore, and what those thresholds are... Right now, there isn't any assessment that we are entering a second wave."
Mr Tan also pointed out that the level of community transmission remains low.
He said: "If you compare the numbers of community transmission now... (they are) lower than before the circuit breaker by a long stretch, and we hope to keep it that way."
He said MOH is also looking carefully at the examples of Hong Kong, Melbourne and Tokyo, which have experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases after they reopened.
"We will look at the risk factors that led to the waves that have reoccurred in those cities, and we will take every measure to prevent those from happening here in Singapore," said Mr Tan, adding that government agencies, including STB, will continue to have a high level of checks and enforcement on safe management measures.
On a separate note, Mr Tan also said that more than half of the 67,000 hotel rooms in Singapore are being used for Covid-19-related purposes, such isolation and quarantines.
He said: "The opening of hotels for staycations has to be balanced against making sure that we have enough of a buffer of hotel rooms that are still required in case there is any subsequent surge of infections."
He said STB has not given a "carte blanche" to all hotels to reopen for staycations.
More than 100 hotels have submitted their proposals for staycations, and more than 80 have received approval to resume operations for local staycations.
Mr Tan: "So we don't have any set targets for occupancy rates, because we also need to look at how the health situation evolves in Singapore."