The three-month wait is finally over – July 1 marks the big day when the iconic Gardens by the Bay, and the Marina Bay Sands resumes more of their operations, including the Flower Dome, ArtScience Museum, Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, and Casino. Other venues such as The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands reopened their doors earlier on June 19, while the initial five of its signature and celebrity chef restaurants welcomed back diners on June 27. Koma and db Bistro & Oyster Bar are also set to reopen on July 1 and 3 respectively.
But don't pop the champagne just yet – venues including Gardens by the Bay's Cloud Forest, OCBC Skyway, Supertree Observatory and Floral Fantasy, as well the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Sands Theatre, and Marquee remain closed, in line with government guidelines. Family-friendly activities including the digital light canvas and sampan rides at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands are also put on hold. Despite seeing more businesses resume operations in Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening plans, we can't afford to be complacent about health and safety. Many places are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure business resiliency and enhance public health.
Are the venues open to all on July 1?
The short answer is no. Most venues are open to ticket-holders who have purchased tickets online. However, there are further limitations, including capping the number of visitors. While the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck welcomes ticket-holders, the ArtScience Museum is only open to ticket holders with Sands Rewards membership only. Casino Sands Rewards Club (SRC) members holding Gold status or higher, and/or existing Annual Levy Holders are allowed in the Casino.
Over at the Flower Dome, the gates are open to members of Gardens by the Bay's Friends of the Gardens membership programme from July 1, while the public is welcome to visit from July 11. Be sure to download the Gardens by the Bay app where you can purchase timed-book entry tickets at a discount of $1 until the end of September. The app also allows you to scan your tickets, perform SafeEntry check-in and check-out, and get real-time updates on crowd levels in the Gardens – all to ensure a safe and hassle-free, contactless experience. Public ticket sales are only available via the app and the website from July 7. Physical ticketing counters remain closed during this period.
What are the precautionary measures taken?
To ensure the safety of everyone, all visitors have to comply with the prevailing guidelines, including wearing masks, not gathering in groups of five people, and observing a safe distance of one metre from each other.
The integrated resort has implemented the MBS SafeEntry system, a proprietary entry system that combines both loyalty membership requirements as well as the national SafeEntry digital log-in system for contact tracing. This allows an additional layer of crowd control and active capacity management, on top of the government's contact tracing guidelines. Temperatures are also screened upon entry at both the integrated resort and Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome, with a one-directional flow is implemented at the latter.
What to look forward to
Art lovers can look forward to checking out the permanent exhibitions at the ArtScience Museum. Current exhibitions Future World: Where Art Meets Science lights up once again on July 1, while 2219: Futures Imagined comes back to life on July 3. However, all guided tours remain suspended until further notice.
Over at the Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome, the main flower field is decorated in a European-themed landscape that mirrors the countryside, peppered with vibrant seasonal blooms such as sunflowers, foxgloves, larkspurs, kangaroo paw, coleus, and pelargoniums. While you're at it, check out the mini garden displays in the Pocket Gardens Surprise series, which are introduced throughout Flower Dome every fortnight. The first of the series is the French potager garden-inspired Edible Garden, which is dedicated to Singapore's healthcare and safety enforcement officers.
If you're not ready to venture out just yet, the ArtScience Museum and Gardens by the Bay continue to embrace the virtual world with their online programmes: ArtScience At Home and #StayHomeWithGB. For more information, visit marinabaysands.com, and gardensbythebay.com.sg.