A petition titled “Separate family karaoke from nightclubs and KTV[s] with hostess[es] and allow us to operate safely” was started yesterday afternoon (Jul 15) and has garnered about 1,100 signatures in less than 24 hours.
It’s signed off by nine karaoke outlets — 7th Heaven KTV & Café, Sing My Song Family Karaoke, K Voice Family Karaoke, Teo Heng KTV, 8 Degree Lounge, Major 99, HaveFun KTV, K Star and Cash Studio.
The group of family-friendly KTV businesses is calling for the authorities to categorise family karaoke outlets like theirs separately from nightclubs and KTV with hostesses. Currently they fall in the same category as cabarets, night clubs, discotheques, and dance clubs.
All karaoke outlets and nightlife entertainment spots have been shut for over a year, since Mar 26, 2020. A pilot scheme to reopen karaoke establishments and nightclubs was slated for January this year but was put on hold due to rising community cases.
This petition was sparked off by the recent growing KTV Covid-19 cluster involving KTV lounges with social hostesses. It has “trashed our hopes [of reopening]”, reads the petition.
“Lumping us together in the overly broad nightlife category is not justifiable.”
It continues: “[T]here is a need to separate us from nightclubs and KTVs with hostess[es]. We are not the same. We do not have hostess[es]; we are not primarily night-time businesses or adult only venues. Our clientele are mainly youth and families, and daytime hours form the bulk of our operating hours.”
They hope that by creating a new Family Karaoke category, they’d be allowed resume business sooner, and acknowledge that reopening would mean having restrictions in place. They proposed a slew of safety measures should they be allowed to reopen, “such as limiting to people who are vaccinated or who have done PET (pre-event testing).”
They also pointed out that the layout of their venues is conducive for safe distancing, as they comprise small rooms occupied by separate groups that do not intermingle.
The past one-and-a-half years have been rough for karaoke businesses, with some such as Teo Heng KTV, K Star and Cash Studio pivoting to provide their rooms for purposes like “F&B, work and study rooms, private cinema [and] gaming”. Some, such as Manekineko, have closed down outlets in the past year.
“We have tried them all but it’s barely enough to pay rent and keep the lights on… It would be painful and ruinous to have to close shop… and the chance of this happening is high if we are still not allowed to prove that we can operate safely. We are merely trying to preserve our business and save jobs.”
More info here.
Photos: Facebook/K.Star Singapore, Jackson Teo/Teo Heng KTV, Cash Studio Family Karaoke, HaveFun Karaoke