With effect from 30 July 2021, the new environmental sanitation regime will be progressively rolled out to higher-risk premises with immuno-vulnerable occupants and premises with high footfall. These premises include eldercare, youth and social service facilities, preschools, schools, food centres and markets, and coffeeshops. This staggered roll-out provides premises owners and operators more time to prepare for the new routine and thorough periodic cleaning and disinfection workflow, and to send their staff for the required two-day Environmental Control Coordinator (ECC) training. To date, about 350 appointed ECCs have been trained for the coming regime, largely for the eldercare, youth and social service facilities (refer to ANNEX A for implementation timeline for the specified premises).
The environmental sanitation regime introduces mandatory baseline standards for specified higher-risk premises, and places greater responsibility on the premises managers to ensure that the standards are met. More than 3,000 specified premises are expected to implement the regime by 1 March 2022. The regime will require premises managers to put in place an environmental sanitation programme and have overall responsibility for the cleanliness of their premises. Premises managers are to appoint registered ECCs, who will assist in developing, reviewing and monitoring the implementation of the programme (refer to ANNEX B for information on baseline requirements of an environmental sanitation programme).
To ensure sufficient training capacity for ECCs, there are currently four  SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) approved training providers able to conduct the ECC training . ECCs will be trained to develop the environmental sanitation programme and to assist the premises managers with the implementation of the programme (refer to ANNEX C for examples of staff who could take up the role as ECCs). Premises managers are reminded that all appointed ECCs must be registered with NEA after attending and passing the ECC training.
Sector-specific standards have been finalised and conveyed to the respective sectoral leads and premises managers, whose premises will come under the regime on 30 July 2021. Multiple engagement sessions have been conducted with managers/ owners/ operators of the specified premises. NEA will adopt an advisory approach for the first six months of implementation to allow the sectors to ease into the new regime.
Ms Carol Chua, Director, Service Management and Resource Division, Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said, “Cleaning and disinfection are critical to providing a safe environment for users of our care services. The environmental sanitation regime sets out clear guidance in aspects such as the minimum cleaning frequency and scope, which will help ensure that our premises are properly cleaned and disinfected at all times. The regime is part of our on-going efforts to ensure good care and protection for our more vulnerable service users.”
Ms Bernadette Alexander, Director, Regulations and Standards, Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) said, “All preschools are required to maintain high standards of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation as part of regulatory requirements. This is important to safeguard the health and wellbeing of preschool children and staff, and even more so now, with COVID-19. Since 2019, NEA, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and ECDA have been working closely with preschools to strengthen measures on food safety, personal and environmental hygiene practices in preschools. This new environmental sanitation regime will build on existing efforts and hygiene measures in the preschools to ensure higher standards.”
Towards a National Culture of Keeping Singapore Clean
The experience of COVID-19 reinforces the need for us to put in place good systems to ensure that we remain resilient to public health threats. Improving cleanliness and hygiene standards upstream can protect occupants and staff from public health risks. It can also minimise downstream costs resulting from environmental lapses, which could lead to closure of premises, reputational damage, and additional expenses incurred from extensive cleaning and disinfection works. A cleaner environment could lead to increased business, due to greater consumer confidence, as consumers become increasingly aware of the importance of cleanliness and hygiene amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
To cope with the anticipated increase in demand for cleaning and disinfection services, NEA is working with the cleaning industry to attract more locals to join the environmental services industry through various upskilling initiatives and programmes, and encouraging greater adoption of technology by licensed cleaning businesses. We will continue to partner key stakeholders and premises owners and operators to collectively uplift and maintain higher standards of cleanliness and hygiene, and to better protect the health of our population.
 Two more training providers may be commencing ECC training by September 2021.
 Please visit NEA’s website for the list of ECC training providers: https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/public-cleanliness/ESR.
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|Timeline||Types of Premises||Estimated Targeted No. of Premises||Sectoral Lead|
|30 July 2021||Eldercare facilities (e.g. senior care centres, active ageing care hubs and hospice day care)||About 180
|· Ministry of Health
|30 July 2021||Eldercare, Youth and Social Service facilities (e.g. children and young persons homes, welfare homes, sheltered homes and adult disability homes)||About 50
|· Ministry of Social and Family Development|
|1 November 2021||Preschools (e.g. kindergartens and childcare centres)||About 1,900||· Early Childhood Development Agency|
|1 December 2021||Food centres and Markets (including privately owned markets)||About 140||· Housing and Development Board
· Ministry of National Development
· National Environment Agency
· Singapore Food Agency
· Singapore Land Authority
[Multiple agencies listed to cover the various types of food centres and/or markets]
|1 February 2022||Schools||About 340||· Ministry of Education|
|1 March 2022||Coffeeshops
|About 1,100||· Housing and Development Board
· Singapore Food Agency
· Singapore Land Authority
Environmental Sanitation Programme Baseline Requirements
1 Premises managers will be required to implement an environmental sanitation programme and be responsible for the cleanliness of their premises. They will be required to appoint registered ECCs, who will assist them to develop and monitor the implementation of the environmental sanitation programme. Some of the baseline requirements in the programme include:
· Minimum daily cleaning and disinfection frequencies for toilets, lifts, bin centres and high-touch surfaces.
· Minimum six-monthly thorough periodic cleaning, which includes cleaning of areas that are not easily accessible and not covered by routine cleaning (e.g. out-of-reach window panels, ceiling and wall fans). Intense cleaning of areas that are already covered under routine cleaning may also be required during thorough periodic cleaning. The frequency of the thorough periodic cleaning may be increased depending on the type of premises.
· Pest management plan to ensure that measures are in place to prevent pest issues.
· Cleaning and disinfection methodology/protocol to respond to incident(s) involving bodily discharge (e.g. vomitus).
· Provision of necessary equipment and cleaning agents to carry out effective cleaning and disinfection.
On top of the baseline requirements, premises managers and ECCs will need to customise sector-specific standards for their respective environmental sanitation programmes. A sample of what an environmental sanitation programme would look like is available in the Technical Guide on the NEA’s website: https://www.nea.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/environmental-sanitation-for-high-risk-non-healthcare-premises-in-singapore-technical-guidee4f7a9b432414360a57effac2564fa63.pdf.
Examples of Appointment of Premises Managers and Environmental Control Coordinators
|Types of Premises||Premises Manager *||Environmental Control Coordinators*|
|Eldercare, Youth and Social Service facilities||Centre Director, Social Service Agency or Licensee||Centre Manager or Head of Home/ Superintendent|
|Preschools||Licensee||Appointed Centre Staff|
|Food Centres and Markets||Owners / Operators of Food Centres and/or Markets/ Private Market Licensees||Place Managers, Operations Managers, Property Officers|
|Schools||Appointed School Staff||Appointed Staff|
|Coffeeshops||Licensee/ Business Owner||Outlet Operations Supervisor Operations Manager|
*Subject to changes.