[Updated 22 Apr]

With the announcement of the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker period being extended to 1 June 2020, the list of essential services that are allowed to operate on site has been tightened.

This is done to further reduce the number of workers who have to physically go to work, so that there will be less movement and interaction of people, which will curb the spread of COVID-19.

What will continue to operate

  • Supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores and wet markets (except convenience stores in parks)


  • Pharmacies and Personal Care Items


  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) establishments with MOH-registered in-house TCM practitioner(s) are allowed to open for consultation and dispensing of related TCM medication only (No walk-in retail allowed)


  • Hardware stores


  • Opticians, by appointment only. No walk-in customers allowed.


  • Critical food services, including hawker centres, food courts, coffeeshops, those that sell hot/cooked snacks and bread. These can continue to remain open for takeaway and delivery services only.


For the list of activities that will be allowed to continue to operate: https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/essentialservices.

We will also close more workplaces, so that only the most essential services will remain open. This will reduce further the number of workers keeping essential services going, and minimise the risks of transmission among the workers.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

What will be closed

  • All non-essential services

  • Standalone F&B outlets that predominantly retail the following:

    i. Beverages, including bubble tea, fruit juice, smoothies, alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea;

    ii. Packaged snacks and loose snacks including nuts, potato chips, popcorn, bak kwa, cheese;
    iii. Desserts, including red/ green bean soup, grass jelly, ice cream, yoghurt, cakes, cupcakes, waffles, chocolate, cookies, sweet pastries, donuts;

  • All hairdressing and barber services


  • Pet supplies stores must close physical stores, can operate online sales and delivery

  • Retail laundry services must close their physical stores, except unmanned stores. Allowed to provide online sales and delivery.
We do need our essential workers. We appreciate their contributions, but we have to reduce the numbers who are working.
Minister Lawrence Wong

For those that remain physically open, precautionary measures must be in place

For workplaces that need to be open, employers must implement safe distancing measures to reduce physical interactions by:

• Reducing the need for and duration of physical interactions;

• Staggering working hours;

• Postponing all group events ; and

• Implementing shift work and/or split team arrangements

For retail establishments

Safe distancing measures must be in place, by using a crowd and queue management system to minimise crowds within their premises

  1. Use floor markers to demarcate queue lines for customers at cashier counters or where required
  2. Limit number of customers within the store, ensure at least 1-metre spacing between customers
  3. Encourage self-checkouts, cashless or contactless payment

For supermarkets, standalone stores and malls

Where reasonably practicable:

  1. Conduct temperature screening for customers at entrances to detect customers with fever
  2. Ensure all staff, customers and other personnel on their premises have their masks on at all times
  3. Those with high traffic should conduct contact tracing of customers

All malls, standalone stores and supermarkets should have a system that logs workers entry into, and exit. They can use the digital check-in application SafeEntry.

 Supermarkets are also encouraged to provide dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable groups, use mall atriums or outdoor areas for temporary sale of goods to disperse crowds from their stores, and remind customers to limit entry to 1 per family when shopping at their stores, where practicable.


How do I know if my business is an ‘Essential’ or ‘Non-Essential’ Service?

You may refer to the list of Essential Services

You may also call the Enterprise Infoline at 6898-1800 from 8.30am-12 midnight (on 21 April), 8.30am –8.30pm (on 22 April) and 8.30am-5.30pm (23 April onwards).

How do I know if I am affected by the new measures to suspend certain F&B and retail operations?

If you have previously been issued an approval to operate during the circuit breaker and you conduct one of the activities that must now be suspended, MTI will send you an email to rescind the previous approval. For further details, please click here

When will the suspension of certain F&B and retail outlets take effect? How long will it last?

The suspension of on-site operations of specialised stores and outlets retailing predominantly beverages, packaged snacks and desserts, F&B outlets in parks and certain retail outlets will take effect 24 hours after you have received the notification from MTI to wind down business operations completely. These tighter measures will be in place minimally for a two-week period from 21 April 2020 until 4 May 2020 (inclusive). The Multi-Ministry Taskforce will monitor the situation closely and determine when it is appropriate to ease some of the measures. 

What should I do if I have not received an exemption?  Am I allowed to continue operations?

Please suspend your business operations until you have received the official email notification of approval.

For the status of your application, please click here.

If I see a non-essential business continue to operate even though it is not supposed to, what should I do?

Please report this business and provide relevant details such as its name, address and relevant evidence (e.g. photographs) to Covid_GoBusiness@mti.gov.sg

What are the penalties for non-compliant companies that flout the suspension of activities at workplace premises and safe distancing measures?

The Government takes a serious view of any infringement of safe distancing measures and will not hesitate to take actions against non-compliant businesses.

Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act passed in Parliament on 7 April 2020, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Subsequent offences may face a fine of up to S$20,000, imprisonment of up to twelve months, or both.

What happens if my company is unable to pay employees’ salaries due to the suspension of activities?

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will help enterprises retain their local employees during this period of uncertainty. All active employers, with the exception of Government organisations (local and foreign) and representative officers, are eligible for the JSS. For more details, please visit the IRAS website at www.iras.gov.sg or call the hotline 6356 8233.

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