Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.
Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.
Return to homepage | Last updated: 18 November, 2020
The Minister for Finance unveiled on 18 February 2020, a S$4 billion Stabilization and Support Package (as part of the Unity Budget) that contains a range of measures to cushion the blow of COVID-19 on local businesses and workers. As both the global economy and COVID-19 outbreak continue to worsen, the Government has announced a second stimulus package (known as the Resilience Budget), worth a generous S$48.4 billion on 26 March 2020 to support households, help workers stay employed and provide support for businesses to emerge stronger when the economy recovers. Apart from broad based support for the entire economy, the Resilience Budget also introduced measures to help specific sectors that are directly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak such as the Aviation, Tourism, Food Services, Land Transport and Arts & Culture sectors. Subsequently, with the “circuit breaker” taking effect from 7 April 2020, the Government has announced on 6 April 2020, a third stimulus package worth S$5.1 billion (known as the Solidarity Budget), targeted at cushioning the impact of the “circuit breaker” on the local workforce and livelihoods of our workers. Alongside the Solidarity Budget, the Government passed a new wide-range bill to provide additional assistance (via temporary relief) due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the “circuit breaker” measures progressively lifted from 2 June 2020, the Government announced a fourth stimulus package worth S$33 billion (known as the Fortitude Budget) on 26 May 2020, with focus on (1) creating jobs and building skills for workers; (2) boosting transformation for enterprises and (3) strengthening resilience for community. As the COVID-19 situation gradually stabilises in Singapore, the country has entered the second phase of the Government’s reopening strategy for the economy. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance also announced in his Ministerial Statements on 17 August and 5 October 2020, extensions of certain current support schemes and new initiatives to provide continued support for businesses and jobs that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Click here to see a comprehensive summary of jurisdictional tax measures and government reliefs in response to COVID-19.
|Tax-exempt cash grant % of up to the first $4,600 gross monthly salary per local employee||All industries (except those separately listed)||Aviation/ Aerospace and Tourism/ Hospitality/ Conventions and Exhibitions Services||Food, Retail, Arts and Entertainment, Land Transport, Marine and Offshore Services|
|Oct 2019 to Dec 2019
Feb to Mar 2020
Jun to Aug 2020
|April and May 2020||75%2|
|Sep 2020 to Mar 2021||10%3||50%||30%|
1The Built Environment sector will receive 75% cash grant for the months of June to August 2020.
2The 75% cash grant will continue to apply for all businesses which are not allowed to resume operations, or until August 2020, whichever is earlier.
3The Built Environment sector will receive 50% cash grant for the months of September and October 2020 and 30% cash grant for the months of November 2020 to March 2021. Selected sectors (i.e. Financial Services, Information and Communications Technology and Media, Biomedical Sciences, Precision Engineering, Electronics and Online Retail and Supermarkets) will receive 10% cash grant until December 2020. Businesses that are not allowed to resume on-site operations will receive 50% cash grant until they are allowed to resume, or until March 2021, whichever is earlier.
Enhancements to Wage Credit Scheme
Foreign Worker Levy (FWL)
Central Provident Fund (“CPF”) obligation
SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package
Jobs Growth Incentive
Covid-19 Support Grant (application period extended until 31 December 2020)
Immigration related measures
Pass holders (including holders of Employment Pass, S Pass and Dependent Pass, and in principle approvals) arriving directly from Australia, Brunei, Mainland China, New Zealand and Vietnam, who have remained there for the last 14 days before entry, will not be required to serve a Stay Home Notice (SHN). They will be admitted into Singapore upon receiving a negative COVID-19 test result at the airport.
Pass holders coming from locations considered to be low risk (Hong Kong, Macao, Mainland China,
, and Malaysia excluding Sabah) may serve a SHN of 7 days at their place of residence or a hotel. They must complete a COVID-19 test before the end of their SHN.
Pass holders coming from all other locations will continue to serve their SHN for 14 days at government-assigned facilities and complete a COVID-19 test before the end of their SHN.*
* From 2 November 2020, pass holders arriving directly from Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turkey may apply to opt out of government-assigned SHN facilities for arrivals on or after 4 November 2020. For them to qualify to serve their 14-day SHN at their residence, they must occupy such residence alone, or only with household members who are also persons serving SHN with the same travel history and duration of SHN.
One-year temporary bridging loan program for enterprises (extended for another six months till September 2021, at reduced levels)
Loan Application Period
Maximum Loan quantum
Up to 31 March 2021
From 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021
Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan program for Singapore-based enterprises
Loan Insurance Scheme
SG Together Enhancing Enterprise Resilience (STEER)
Deferment of principal payments on secured term loans
Financing support for promising start-ups
Arts & Culture
The Government has announced during the Ministerial Statement in October that the Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) will be extended to the marine and offshore sector (initially available to the tourism, air transport, retail, food services, point-to-point transport/ private bus companies and arts and culture sectors only) and for another six months, until 30 June 2021. Under the ETSP, the following are provided to encourage enterprises to continue with developing their employees:
Additionally, employees in affected sectors such as tourism, aviation, retail and food services sectors will receive enhanced support through new redeployment programs under the Adapt and Grow Initiative. The funding support period for existing redeployment programs (i.e. Job Redesign Place-and-Train (PnT) Program for Hotel Industry and Job Redesign PnT Program for Retail Industry) will be extended from 3 months to a maximum of 6 months.
Financial: Managing cash flows and raising funds for S-REITs
Rental waivers for qualifying tenants in public properties
Rental relief for SME tenants in private non-residential properties
SME property owners who run a trade or business on their own property will also be eligible for the new cash grant.
Inability to perform contracts due to COVID-19
Higher Threshold for Bankruptcy and Insolvency Proceedings
|Bankruptcy applications for individuals||Debt quantum||S$15,000||S$60,000|
|Period for a debtor to satisfy a creditor’s statutory demand||21 days
|Unsuitability for debt repayment scheme||S$100,000||S$250,000|
|Winding up applications for companies (only applicable to applications after 7 April 2020)||Debt quantum||S$10,000||S$100,000|
|Statutory demands||3 weeks||6 months|
Conduct of Meetings
Imposing obligations on property owners to pass on the PTR in full to tenants
Legal – COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Amendment) Bill passed on 5 June 2020 (to come into force by end-July 2020)
Imposing obligations on property owners to grant rental waivers to tenants
Temporary relief from onerous contractual terms
Apart from the short-term measures to combat the negative economic impact brought about by COVID-19, the Government also announced certain medium and longer-term measures, amongst others, announced/ enhanced include:
Support for charities and social service agencies
Main sources of information
Tax & Legal: Ajay Sanganeria – email@example.com
Restructuring: Bob Yap – firstname.lastname@example.org