WEEKLY SUMMARY

Latest Update On |  7 Aug 2020

VIEW THE COUNTRIES WITH MONITORING UPDATES

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

CHINA

TAIWAN

MALAYSIA

SINGAPORE

SRI LANKA

VIETNAM

LAOS

JAPAN

 SOUTH KOREA

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

AUSTRALIA

NEW ZEALAND

RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE

INDIA

INDONESIA

PHILIPPINES

THAILAND

MYANMAR

CHINA

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

Updates in China.

MEASURES/UPDATES

c

On 30 July, resurgence of reported cases has been observed in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian. The first case was reported at a local seafood company. The seafood company has been temporarily shut down and its environment was disinfected while 344 employees were quarantined. The area, where the seafood company is located has been classified as high-risk zone. In addition, a citywide COVID-19 testing has been performed with the local residents. On 5 August, it was reported that the situation in Dalian has been effectively contained.

c

On 30 July, the China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) updated the list of meat eligible for export to China from countries or regions that meet the requirements of assessment and review. Temporary import suspension has been voluntarily raised by a Netherlands- and a Denmark-based pork products exporters.

TAIWAN

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

The government updated list of countries/regions which eligible for shortened quarantine.

MEASURES

c

On 05 August, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced updated list of countries/regions which subject to shortened quarantine in Taiwan. In view of the increased cases reported in Japan, the CECC has removed Japan from the category of medium-risk countries. The updated list is as follow

  • Low-risk countries/regions: New Zealand, Macao, Palau, Fiji, Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand, Mongolia, Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar.
  • Medium-risk countries/regions: South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka.

MALAYSIA

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

The mandatory use of face masks came into force.

MEASURES

c

Starting from 1 August, it is mandatory to wear face masks at the crowded public places. On 5 August, the National Security Council released a list of places where the use of masks will be mandatory. These places include

  • Public transports, such as buses, trains, taxi, e-hailing vehicles and others
  • Crowded public areas, such as mosques and prayers halls, houses of worship, zoos, sports and recreation venues (when not participating any sport activities), clinics & hospitals, markets, cinemas & entertainment places with live events, and retail shops (restaurants, hair salopns, spas and wellness centres and family entertainment outlets).
c

It is not compulsory to wear masks for the following situations,

  • People who are using their own private vehicles
  • Children under two years old, however, they should not be brought to crowded public areas
  • People who are carrying physical activities, including exercising/leisure activities
c

For those who violate the abovementioned measure, they will be fined for RM1000.

SINGAPORE

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

On 5 August, Singapore and members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) committed to support trade liberalisation.

MEASURES

c

Economies under CPTPP remain committed to fight protectionism and avoid food and medicine shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping supply chains opened.

c

Economies also seek to intensify cooperation, free trade and limit restrictive measures.

c

Members of CPTPP include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

SRI LANKA

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

Sri Lanka revised import control regulations.

MEASURES

c

On 16 July, the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) published revised temporary import controls. The revised regulation applies on commodities which will be loaded on/after 17 July in the country. Relaxations have been granted for particular import situations, including import for export, local value addition while others are allowed to be imported on a restricted basis.

c

The revised Schedule I includes commodities which are not permitted to be imported by using finance terms. The temporary suspension will be in force until further notice. On the other hand, the revised Schedule II lists down commodities which may be imported on a restricted basis (either under 90 days or 180 days deferred payment terms). The commodity in Schedule I or II will be allowed to be imported under minimum 30 day deferred payment terms if it has at least 35% local value addition, and provided the raw material is not locally available.

VIETNAM

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

Efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 continues after a surge in new cases.

MEASURES

c

On 5 August, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control urged localities to monitor strictly and quarantine traveller with records to Da Nang to prevent contain the spread.

c

With new cases linked to hospitals, the Ministry of Health issued a Notification No. 1212 / CD – BYT on 3 August to intensify the prevention and control of COVID-19 infection in medical facilities, especially protective measures toward those who fall under the high risk category.

c

Health official foresees a peak in the number of cases in the coming ten days.

c

Medical facilities are to promptly review, proactively and actively implement preventive measures and control at facilities, space out areas with higher density of people, and minimise the number of family members to attend to the patients.

LAOS

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

Government extended COVID-19 preventive measures to 31 August.

MEASURES

c

Besides extending current measures, the government also instituted a ban on international charter flights.

c

The government remains vigilant toward potential imported cases of COVID-19 by strictly controlling traveller into country.

JAPAN

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

Government tightened re-entry procedures.

MEASURES / UPDATES

c

On 3 August , the Foreign Ministry announced stricter requirements for foreign nationals entering to Japan.

c

All foreign residents, including permanent residents and long-term visa holders traveling from the four countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines and Peru) will only be able to return to Japan if they submit negative results from COVID-19 tests. The test shall be taken within 72 hours of departure. The new measure comes into force on 14 August, 2020.

SOUTH KOREA

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

The guidance related to viewing professional sporting event has been published.

MEASURES

On 1 August, as the professional soccer league started allowing spectators (10% stadium capacity) enter the stadium, the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (KCDC) issued the guidance related to viewing professional sporting event. The KCDC advised people to follow the following steps:

c

Before attending a sporting event,

  • Buy event ticket online
  • Wear a mask while heading to the stadium
c

While attending a sporting event,

  • Wear a mask during the event
  • Sit at the designated seat
  • Do not consume food/drink while sitting at your seat
  • Do not engage in excessive cheering that may lead to the droplets contact
c

After attending a sporting event,

  • Refrain from visiting close-contact places, including entertainment venues, restaurants and cafes
  • Follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines while staying/using public facilities

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

Direct flights with Hangzhou resumed as country marked three consecutive months without new cases.

MEASURES

c

Flight route resumed on 4 August and flights will be flown once a week. Travellers are required to undergo mandatory isolation for 14 days after arriving at Brunei and Hangzhou.

c

Since January 2020, nearly 10% of the population has been tested and the Ministry of Health will continue to keep abreast with the situation in the country.

AUSTRALIA 

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

Disruptions faced by the domestic supply chain as Victoria state goes into a 6-week lockdown.

MEASURES

c

On 6 August, the State of Victoria reported 8 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, just days after announcing its deadliest day of the pandemic with 15 deaths. This comes after state capital Melbourne began the first day of a 6-week lockdown, as authorities battle against a second wave of coronavirus infections.

c

With the Victoria outbreak threatening to spill into other states, border and movement restrictions have since been reintroduced across the country in varying degrees.

c

Singapore and Australia signed a digital economy agreement (SADEA), which will facilitate digitalisation of trade processes and make it easier and more cost-effective for local companies to engage in cross-border business activities between both countries. This includes the digitalisation of trade administration documentation for efficient cargo clearance.

c

Forecast national peak unemployment had been revised upwards to about 10% due to Victoria’s reimposition of restrictions. However, effective unemployment is estimated to be at 14% when workers on Australia’s wage subsidy scheme is taken into account.

c

SADEA will enable trusted cross-border data flows without unnecessary and costly requirements such as data localisation.

IMPACT TO FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN

r

Victoria has a huge food and beverage industry footprint, whereby one-third of total industry turnover and employment is accounted for within the state. With Stage 4 lockdown in place, several restrictions have been placed on the meat, seafood and warehouse divisions, including whether they can remain operational and the number of workers that are allowed. Where operational, workers are required to obtain permits.

r

The outbreak has also led to a 8pm to 5am curfew, as well as a recent 48-hour shut down of a key air freight terminal in Melbourne. The domestic supply chain is experiencing shortages, aggravated by elements of panic buying.

r

The Australian Beverage Council has commissioned KPMG to develop a drinks industry recovery blueprint, detailing 4 key policy recommendations for state and federal governments to consider to support the industry and more broadly, the nation’s economy and its recovery.

NEW ZEALAND

ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE

The nation is urged to remain vigilant as it approaches 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19 on 9 August.

MEASURES

c

9 August will mark 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand, despite a handful of imported cases that ended the nation’s coronavirus-free streak.

c

Unemployment rate has fallen to 4% in the June 2020 quarter, while under-utilisation rate (a broader measure of how much spare capacity the market has) rose to 12%. The drop in the unemployment rate in June is more related to whether people could or would look for work (due to movement restrictions), rather than whether or not they had a job.

c

Battling against COVID fatigue, the Government cautioned locals to remain vigilant, warning that an outbreak beyond the isolation facilities is a “matter of when, not if”.

c

New Zealand will no longer proceed with a quarantine-free “trans-Tasman” travel bubble with Australia anytime soon, given the second wave of infections in the State of Victoria with no signs of abating. A key criteria is that any place included as part of the quarantine-free travel must be free from community transmission for a period of 28 days.

INDIA

RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE

The Unlock 3 continues in place.

MEASURES

c

The phase ‘‘Unlock 3’’ continues in place and all activities shall adhere to the requirements as stipulated in the Guidelines for Phased Re-opening (Unlock 3), including:

  • All activities in areas outside Containment Zones will be permitted, excluding prohibited activities such as academic, entertainment, sports, social, political, religious-related events, metro rail and international air travel of passengers (except those permitted by Ministry of Home Affairs). Starting from 5 August, yoga institutes and gymnasiums have been permitted to resume operation. The relevant Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been announced by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) on 03 August.
  • Lockdown remains in force in the Containment Zones until 31 August, 2020 and only essential activities will be allowed, where no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services.
  • The local government may impose restrictions on certain activities outside the Containment Zones, as deemed necessary.
c

In addition, the National Directives for COVID-19 Management shall continue remain in force throughout the country.

c

At the same time, on 02 August, the revised Guidelines for International Arrivals has been issued. The guidelines details the recommended practices at different stages, including before planning for travel, before boarding, during travel and on arrival.

IMPACT ON FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN

r

For food sector, the food manufacturing activities remain unhampered. Based on the Guidelines, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No additional approval/permission will be required for these forms of movements.

r

However, some of the challenges still being observed on the ground. As of 31 July,

  • Cochin: Various parts of Western Kochi have been declared as containment zones by the local authorities. This has led to the difficulty where some distributors of essential food items have been unable to deliver products to the wholesalers and grocery stores.
  • Kolkata: The price of local staple foods have risen significantly due to lower supplies. Similar situation happened in Visakhapatnam for fish price.

INDONESIA

RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE

On 4 August, the President issued Presidential Instruction (Inpres) No. 6/2020 on the Intensification of Discipline and Enforcement of Health Protocol Laws in the Prevention and Mitigation of COVID-19

MEASURES

c

With the nationwide enforcement of COVID-19 protocols, violations will be subject to legal sanctions, including violations from businesses and organisations. The rules also aim to improve public compliance with health procedures.

c

The Presidential Instruction provides actions for the following ministries and divisions:

  • Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security
  • Head of the National Disaster Management Agency as Chair of the
  • Coronavirus Handling Task Force Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • Commander of the Indonesian National Army
  • Head of the Indonesian National Police
  • Governors, Regents, and Mayors
c

Ministers, governors, regents and mayors are to take all necessary measures to intensify efforts in preventing further spread of COVID-19 and to establish sanctions for violations of policies.

c

The funding required for these efforts are allowed to be taken from the state and regional budget, as well as other legal and independent sources in accordance with the law.

PHILIPPINES

RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE

The government imposed modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

MEASURES

c

On 03 August, the government announced modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will be reintroduced in a few areas, including Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan.

c

The MECQ will be in place from 04 August until 18 August.

c

For MECQ areas, strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households, residents shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in permitted offices/establishments. Moreover, the residents are required to bring their quarantine passess while leaving their homes. In addition, businesses, such as barbershops, saloons and other establishments providing services on personal cares; gyms and sport facilities; and entertainment businesses will be prohibited under MECQ.

IMPACT ON FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN

r

Under MECQ, dining establishments and restaurants are only allowed to operate for take-out and delivery services.

r

Establishments involved in the food production are allowed to operate at full operational capacity, excluding manufacturing industries classified as beverages, such as alcoholic drinks. These industries are only allowed to operate at a maximum of 50% operational capacity, while encouraging work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements where applicable.

THAILAND

RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE

Announcement of Royal Gazette made regarding the Regulation issued under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E. 2548 (2005) (No.13).

MEASURES

c

The Regulation includes the following:

  • Mass gathering activities shall be in accordance with the rules prescribed under the law on public gatherings.
  • A special task force to be set up to ease the COVID-19 control measures and work with the relevant organisations to check, screen and prepare for the order regarding the permitted inbound travellers in the future.
  • Enforcement of disease prevention measures by the primary responsible person of places and activities according to the disease prevention measures as determined by the government.

MYANMAR

RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE

COVID-19 preventive measures extended to 15 August.

MEASURES

c

With the extension of preventive measures, the tourism recovery plan is being reviewed. The decision is contingent on the official assessment of the threat from COVID-19 which will then impact the reopening of tourist destinations.

c

The government has held back the reopening of beach destinations after the surge of new cases in Vietnam beach city.