Singapore government to announce measures supporting nightlife industry next week

Nearly 60 nightlife establishments shuttered in the first six months of 2020

Next week, the Singapore government will announce measures to support its nightlife industry that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a speech in Parliament yesterday (October 15), Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that the government is in the midst of finalising a set of measures to support the nightlife industry as part of a pivot “from broad-based relief to more targeted support”.

The nightlife industry, DPM Heng said, falls into one of three categories that are the focus of this support: “firms where the outlook remains bleak as there are fundamental changes in their operating environments”. He added, “They will need to reinvent themselves, and pivot into new products and sectors.”

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Under current government restrictions, many nightlife establishments in Singapore have not been able to open for club nights and parties due to limitations on group sizes and an ongoing ban on large-scale events.

The first six months of 2020 saw the closure of 59 nightclubs, discotheques, dance clubs and karaoke lounges, the Straits Times reported in August.

Some nightlife establishments have managed to resume operations thanks to their food & beverage licenses, or by pivoting to different activities that abide by government regulations. Earlier this week, megaclub Zouk turned its main room into a spin studio.

In August, the Singapore Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth announced that it would be piloting small-scale live performances, heralding the end of the monthslong void of live shows in the country forced by the pandemic.

Those performances, capped to 50 audience members, were allowed to take place from September 11 only at selected arts venues with safe management measures in place.

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