Good news for those of you going crazy at home: Singapore hotels will soon be able to accept staycation guests again.
According to Today Online, hotels can now apply to the government to accept staycation bookings. They will need to demonstrate their ability to comply with safe management measures drawn up by the STB, MTI, Enterprise Singapore and MOH.
Don’t expect to go somewhere this weekend though- the STB will take up to 14 days to assess each application, so it’s probably more realistic to look at end July/ early August as potential staycation dates.
What’s the status of staycations now?
Staycations have been off the cards since Singapore started the Circuit Breaker on 7 April, and most guests have been people serving Stay-Home Notices (SHNs).
Even though we’re now in Phase 2, the STB has stated that hotels can currently only accept reservations from the following groups of people:
- individuals whose current place of residence is not available due to home renovation;
- individuals who have sold their current place of residence but have not secured alternative residence;
- individuals whose existing rental lease have ended but have not secured alternative places of residence;
- returnees who completed their stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities but do not have a place of their own as they do not ordinarily live in Singapore; or
- healthcare workers who wish to isolate themselves from other family members living in the same residential unit;
- Green/ Fast-lane Travellers; and
- Travellers, including Long-Term Pass holders entering Singapore from 17 June 2020, 2359hrs, and who had remained in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Mainland China, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Vietnamese in the last consecutive 14 days prior to their entry, who wish to serve their 14-day SHN
in a Hotel.
Which hotels will be open for staycations?
There’s no official list yet, obviously, but the STB has set up a page that will compile all the hotels approved for staycation guests.
It seems logical that hotels which are not currently hosting SHN guests will be the first to get approval for staycations, however.
What will the staycation experience be like?
Not quite how you remember it.
Don’t expect breakfast buffets and self-serve happy hour spreads in the executive lounge. It’s more likely that hotels will transition to an a la carte dining experience, or a system where buffet items are handled and served by staff members only.
Hotels will be required to limit occupancy to no more than one person per 10 sqm in public spaces, and reduce face-to-face contact by staggering the times that guests can be in the hotel lobby and guest facilities.
Lifts may have capacity limits, meaning longer wait times depending on the crowd. There will be an increased focus on contactless service (e.g items delivered to rooms via robot butlers), and rooms will (hopefully) be obsessively cleaned. For what it’s worth, I’ve just bought myself a UV light on Qoo10 and can’t wait to do my first room inspection.
On the bright side, hotel facilities should be up and running. Gyms, swimming pools, and spas have been given the green light to reopen, with capacity constraints.
What deals can we expect?
At the moment, hotels are not allowed to advertise staycation deals, in order to avoid confusion. This moratorium will presumably be lifted as hotels get approved to take staycation guests.
The Singapore Hotels Association (SHA) has a dedicated staycation deals page, which as you might have guessed is empty at the moment. Do bookmark it, though, because it’s bound to get really busy over the next couple of months.
I’ll also be on the lookout for great deals, and publish them on The Milelion as and when I spot them. Feel free to forward me any deals you come across.
It looks increasingly likely that leisure travel won’t be possible for Singaporeans until early 2021, so a staycation is probably as good as it gets for now.
I’m personally looking forward to using my Regent Singapore voucher, and I’m sure we’ll see a deluge of deals in the near future.
Any hotels on your wish list now?