Press Releases

Deferment of Pilots for Nightclubs and Karaoke Outlets

Published: 19 January 2021

1. On 6 November 2020, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that the Government will run small-scale pilots for the nightlife industry to allow a limited number of nightlife outlets (bars, pubs, nightclubs, discotheques and karaoke establishments) to reopen with stringent safe management measures (SMMs).


2. The aim of the pilots is to establish the viability and robustness of the stringent SMMs in ensuring the safe conduct of the activities, and the ability of the nightlife industry to comply with them, before the Government considers further steps in the resumption of nightlife businesses.


3. The pilot for bars and pubs commenced from 8 December 2020, with three outlets undergoing the pilot currently. Nightlife business associations were also invited to nominate suitable nightclubs and karaoke outlets to participate in the pilots. Interested outlets had to submit proposals to the business associations[1], which include plans on how they intend to comply with the SMMs and reopen safely. MTI and MHA received a total of eight nominations for nightclubs and 15 nominations for karaoke outlets. After a careful review of the nominations, two nightclubs and 10 karaoke outlets were shortlisted, with the aim of commencing the pilot in January 2021, subject to the prevailing COVID-19 situation and lead time required to prepare for the pilot.[2]


4. However, we have seen an increase in the number of community cases in Singapore recently, of which some cases are currently unlinked and under investigation. To prevent the risk of further community transmission and formation of clusters in high-risk settings such as nightclubs and karaoke outlets, which entail people coming into close contact for prolonged periods of time and in enclosed spaces, the pilots have been deferred until further notice. It is uncertain when the pilot may be able to commence, given the dynamic public health situation. Agencies will review the commencement of the pilots at a suitable juncture.


5. We are working with the operators who were shortlisted for the pilot on the next steps for their businesses, and assisting them individually.


6. The pilot for bars and pubs, which commenced earlier, will continue for now. Agencies will also continue to monitor the situation closely, and will work with the operators to tighten the SMMs where necessary to safeguard public health.


[1] Singapore Nightlife Business Association (SNBA) or the Singapore Entertainment Affiliation (SEA).


[2] The pilots for nightclubs and karaoke outlets were planned to commence in Jan 2021, to allow the outlets more time to make the necessary preparations as customers would have to undergo pre-event testing, as part of the SMMs. This involves the operators ensuring that customers test negative for COVID-19 before the start of their visit to the outlet, and at most 24 hours before the end of their visit to the outlet.