After Singapore moves into Phase 2 of its post-circuit breaker, campuses will fully reopen and all students will be allowed to return to school. From June 29, restrictions will also be eased for PE and extra-curricular activities.
Phase 2 of Singapore’s phased approach to ending the circuit breaker begins on June 19, and new arrangements for schools will come into effect from June 29. Here's a list of the new rules and restrictions affecting schools and families.
Schools will fully reopen from June 29, with all students returning to school daily. Currently, most students in local, Ministry of Education-run primary and secondary schools alternate between being physically in school and doing home-based learning. The MOE had planned for two cycles of weekly rotations, which end on June 26.
International schools had reopened under guidance from the Committee for Private Education (CPE), which stated that schools could not have more than 50% of students or staff on campus at any one time. Individual schools have had their own ‘back to school’ model, which varies between students attending every day, every other week, or every second or third day. Most international schools are due to finish their academic year from mid-June, so the new opening arrangements will not affect them until they return for the 2020-21 academic year in August.
Schools will be allowed to run group activities and small-sided games that involve minimal physical contact, such as badminton, table-tennis, volleyball, sepak takraw, with a limit of five students per group and safety measures.
Schools are being encouraged to restart activities that can be taught online by coaches and instructors, such as dance, computer programming, art and robotics. Other activities that need to be taught face-to-face can be held but only at a class level, to minimise inter-mingling of students.
Private tuition centres can reopen from June 19 onwards, with safe management measures in place. Students will need to maintain a safe distance of at least one metre.
For families looking for after-school activities, all parks and public facilities including playgrounds, beaches, swimming complexes, sport halls, gyms and fitness studios, function rooms, and similar facilities in private condos and clubs can reopen from June 19.
From June 19, groups of up to five people from different households are allowed to meet for small-group, social gatherings such as play dates.
The following rules and restrictions will continue from Phase 1...
Safe management measures in schools will continue, including fixed exam-style seating in classrooms, frequent hand-washing and wipe down of surfaces, twice daily temperature checks, staggered school timings, and spaced seating arrangements in canteens.
All staff and students must continue to wear either a face mask or face shield. Children and siblings under two years of age are not required to wear a mask. As anyone leaving their home is required to wear a mask or face shield, parents must remember to wear one for school drop-off and pick-up.
The MOE says: “During PE lessons, students and PE teachers will not be required to wear masks when doing strenuous physical activities such as running and drills for warm-ups. They will have to put on their masks at other times.
“For recess, primary school students are encouraged to wear their face shields in the canteen while eating and drinking. Face masks need not be worn while eating and drinking but should be worn at all other times during recess.”
Anyone entering a school campus will still have to use a national digital check-in system that enables contact tracers to find close contacts of infected cases. Launched by the Ministry of Health, the Safe Entry system is compulsory at all schools and pre-schools in Singapore, as well as workplaces like offices and factories, supermarkets, hospitals, malls and hotels. You will need your ID card at the school gate to sign in.
If your child is travelling to school on public transport, they must wear a mask - face shields are not allowed. Safe distancing should be observed. All commuters are expected to stand on the green stickers placed on buses and trains; it is not allowed to sit on seats labelled with orange stickers.
All school bookshops and shops selling school uniforms are now open.