Singapore will return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) conditions from 22 July to 18 August 2021, as the country seeks to tackle a flare-up in COVID-19 community cases linked to KTV lounges and the Jurong Fishery Port.
If the title of this post sounds familiar, well, it should. In the space of less than three months, we’ve gone to Phase 2, then Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), then Phase 3, and now back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) again. It’s frustrating, but hopefully this will be the last rodeo as we inch closer and closer towards a critical mass of vaccinated individuals.
In the meantime, here’s the expected impact on air travel, staycations, cruises and attraction bookings.
|Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) Measures|
|✈️ Air Travel||🚢 Cruises|
|🏨 Staycations||🎡 Attractions|
General Air Travel
In June, the maximum SHN duration for inbound travelers to Singapore was cut from 21 to 14 days. This remains unchanged, with the MOH concluding that the new COVID-19 variants do not come with longer incubation periods.
Here’s the latest snapshot of SHN measures by country:
|Arriving From||SHN Duration|
|🇦🇺||Australia||7 days at place of residence|
|🇭🇰||Hong Kong SAR||7 days at place of residence|
|🇲🇴||Macao SAR||7 days at place of residence|
|🌏||All other countries||14 days in SDF*|
|*SDF= SHN Dedicated Facility. Arrivals from Israel and Taiwan may serve the SHN at their place of residence|
The cost of a 14-day SHN remains at S$2,000, excluding testing.
Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble
1. Given the recent surge in community cases and the imposition of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures in Singapore till 18 August 2021, both Mr Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Transport, and Mr Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, have jointly agreed to resume discussions on the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) only when the COVID-19 situation allows.
2. Both parties will remain in close contact and monitor the public health situation in both places before taking stock in late August on the ATB.
tl;dr: the ATB will be reviewed in late August, which means we can forget about Hong Kong travel until September at the earliest.
And yes, in case it needed mentioning, Singapore’s 7-day moving average of unknown source cases is skyrocketing. As of yesterday, the figure was 9.71, and will doubtlessly get worse before it gets better.
Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific are offering full refunds for all ATB bookings, with a waiver of penalty fees. I’ve outlined the refund process in this post.
From 22 July 2021, the maximum number of guests permitted in a room for staycations will be capped at two, unless all guests are from the same household.
While hotel facilities will mostly remain open, there will be additional restrictions as summarized below:
|🍽️ Restaurants||Open: In-room dining only|
|🏊♂️ Swimming Pool||Open|
|💆 Spa||Open: Restricted to mask-on services|
All meals will have to be taken in the room, including breakfast and afternoon tea/evening canapes for hotels with executive lounges.I wrote an article about the staycation experience during Phase 2 (HA) in May, and it stands to reason it should be very much the same this time round.
For a collection of community-sourced data points on in-room breakfast during Phase 2 (HA), refer to the links below:
- Capitol Kempinski (link 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Conrad Centennial (link 1, 2)
- Dusit Thani
- Grand Hyatt Singapore
- Fairmont Singapore
- One Farrer
- Pan Pacific
- PARKROYAL Collection Marina Bay
- PARKROYAL Collection Pickering
- Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
- Shangri-La Singapore (Valley Wing)
- Sofitel City Centre
- Sofitel Sentosa
- St Regis Singapore
- The Clan Hotel
- The Fullerton Hotel
- Mandarin Oriental
Cruises will revert to 25% capacity restrictions, and just like on land, there’ll be no dine-in, gyms will be closed, spas will be restricted to mask-on services, and shows will have limited capacity.
Whether it’s still worth cruising really boils down to what you value. If you dislike the idea of taking all your meals in your stateroom, this obviously isn’t for you. But if you dislike crowds, this could quite possibly be nirvana.
Based on reports in The Milelion Cruise Society (a.k.a. Sealions) from the previous Phase 2 (HA), loads were as light as 300-500 passengers (on a ship built for 5,000), giving each person an unprecedented amount of personal space.
Here’s my quick take on the pros/cons of sailing during this time:
Dream Cruises has issued a statement on its policies for guests departing from 23 July to 18 August 2021.
The short version is that guests can either receive a full refund of their fares and charges, or receive a future cruise credit with a bonus:
- 3-night Sunday cruise: Bonus of S$75 per cabin
- 2-night Wednesday/Friday cruise: Bonus of S$50 per cabin
Cruise credits can be redeemed for another World Dream voyage departing from Singapore from 21 August 2021 to 31 March 2022. The following blackout periods apply:
- 3-10 September 2021
- 20 November to 31 December 2021
- 30 January 2022 to 4 February 2022
Guests can contact Genting Cruises at 6808 2288 or 6223 0002.
Royal Caribbean has sent out the following email to guests on affected sailings:
There are currently conflicting reports as to what exactly is being offered, but there should be three main options:
- Full refund (will require contacting RCL at 6305 0033, and you may need to be a bit assertive)
- Future cruise credit
- Lift and shift
The difference between (2) and (3) is that the former is valid on any future Royal Caribbean sailing, at prevailing rates. The latter shifts you to a different date on the same itinerary type, sailing length, and stateroom category, with no additional fees.
Just like cruises, attraction capacity will be reduced to 25%. Do reconfirm with your attraction provider whether your booking is still valid, as they may need to postpone or cancel some tickets to satisfy the cap.
Klook has already issued a statement regarding bookings during Phase 2 (HA), and Trip.com and Travleoka should follow shortly. Don’t worry about things like SRV though- these will be fully refunded just like the last time round.
In the meantime, stay safe and get vaccinated- it’s the fastest way to break out of this cycle.