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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 27 June 2006

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Changes To Conditions For Massage Establishments

Source: www.spf.gov.sg

Changes To Conditions For Massage Establishments
From 26 Jun 2006 , massage establishments will see changes in the regulations under the Massage Establishment Act.
Police have noticed that in recent years, many such establishments have abused the current exemption and are in fact operating without complying with the exemption conditions.
From our checks conducted in Jan to May 2006, 149 were found to have flouted the exemption conditions and hence were operating without a licence.
In addition, there were a total of 26 infringements committed by outlets including offences under the Employment of Foreign Workers Act. A total of 52 women have also been arrested for vice activities in massage establishments this year.
Establishments Administering Foot-reflexology, Physiotherapy, Traditional or Curative Massage
Presently, establishments that conduct their massage services in full view of other patrons or employ only certified massage therapists need not apply for a licence from the Police.
Certified massage therapists are those who are qualified to offer physiotherapy, occupational therapy and Traditional Chinese Massage by the Singapore Physiotherapy Association, Singapore Association of Occupational Therapists or Ministry of Health.
From 26 June 2006 , these establishments must meet a new set of requirements before they can qualify for exemption.
Under the new requirements, establishments administering foot-reflexology, physiotherapy, traditional massage or curative massage must ensure that the massage services are conducted in full view of the public and satisfy the following new requirements before they are exempted from the provisions of the Act:
(a) there is no room, partition, cubicle or any form of separation device that allows massage services to be administered in private and outside the view of other customers in the premises;

(b) any area in the premises where massage services are carried out is clearly visible from outside the premises and any window in the premises or entrance to the premises is not obscured with any device or accessory such as tinted glass panel, curtain, blinds or any poster or notice;

(c) only citizens and permanent residents of Singapore and Malaysians with valid work permits are employed in the establishment for massage;

(d) no employee of the establishment for massage is indecently dressed when discharging his duties thereat;

(e) the employees of the establishment for massage do not tout for business or loiter outside the premises of the establishment; and

(f) the operator of the establishment for massage registers details of the operations of the establishment with the Licensing Officer and complies with the requirements set out in the Schedule
Establishments for massage which qualify for the above exemption are to register details of its operations with the Police at https://licences.business.gov.sg.
The mandatory registration will provide Police with information for its enforcement checks on establishments to ensure that the exemption conditions are fully complied with and to prevent any proliferation of vice-activities in the premises.
Those who are currently already operating in the industry are required to register their details by 26 Aug 2006 .
Establishments Offering Body Tanning Services
Currently all massage establishments offering body-tanning services require a licence to operate. From 26 June 2006 , premises which are used exclusively for body tanning are exempted if they satisfy the following new requirements :-
(a) the body tanning service administered in the premises is conducted solely by means of a self-operated machine;

(b) there is no additional room, partition or cubicle within the premises other than any room, partition, or cubicle that is essential for the operation of the body tanning service such as a treatment room or a changing room; and

(c) the operator of the establishment for massage registers details of the operations of the establishment with the Licensing Officer and complies with the requirements set out in the Schedule.
Establishments for massage which qualify for the above exemption are to register details of its operations at https://licences.business.gov.sg.
Those who are currently already operating in the industry are required to register their details by 26 Aug 2006.
Medical Health Screening
To safeguard public health and safety, masseuses, therapists and reflexologists who are working or will be working in licensed massage establishments may be required to undergo and pass a medical health screening before they can be allowed to work for any licensed establishment for massage.
These employees will also be subjected to a yearly renewal process i.e. they will need to pass the medical screening every year before they can continue to work in the massage establishment.
This medical health screening requirement was one of the recommendations proposed by the Advisory Panel for Licensing (APL) on the spa and massage industry of which Police has accepted. Details on the screening can be found at https://licences.business.gov.sg.
Police Director of Operations, Senior Assistant Commissioner Aubeck Kam said that "Police will continue to conduct enforcement checks on establishments for massage to ensure compliance with the law, and to prevent such establishments from engaging in vice activities. We will not hesitate to prosecute errant operators to the fullest extent of the law."
PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
24 June 2006 @ 10.30 am

Source: www.spf.gov.sg Media Release 24 Jun 2006

Related Article:

- Police arrest 77 foreigners illegally working as masseuses

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