Saturday , June 19 2021

Singapore returns to tighter COVID-19 measures: What is allowed under the new rules?



SINGAPORE: With the recent rise in community COVID-19 cases, Singapore has announced stricter measures from Saturday, May 8, to curb the spread of infection.

Places considered high-risk, such as indoor gyms and gyms, should close unless they offer low-intensity activities, while fewer people are allowed at attractions, public libraries, funerals and MICE events.

Meeting limits will also be reduced from eight people to five – bringing Singapore back to what it was in phase 2 of the reopening, which ended on 27 December.

Here are some changes that may affect your daily activities:

CAN I BRING FAMILY OR FRIENDS AT HOME?

Yes, but households can receive only five different visitors per day.

People are also advised to hold a maximum of two social gatherings per day, whether it is to visit another family or to meet with friends or family in a public place.

The rule for five people applies to all social gatherings, including meals in restaurants.

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CAN I STILL FOR EXERCISE CLASSES?

Yes, if you follow outdoor classes that are subject to a cap of 30 participants. Group size should be kept at five persons, with a distance of 3m between each group.

Authorities previously said indoor gyms and gyms should close because they are considered high-risk.

These are small enclosed spaces where people are often unmasked while exercising, and near other people who do not have masks, they said.

In an updated opinion released on Friday (May 7), SportSG announced to gyms and gyms to stay open as they “offer low-intensity physical activity, sports and exercises where all participants and instructors always wear masks”.

The facilities are not permitted to provide weight, strength or resistance training in any form, or to provide equipment for such training associated with strenuous activities.

WHAT ARE THE WORKPLACE RESTRICTIONS?

More people will have to work from home.

From May 8 to 30, the proportion of employees returning to the workplace will be reduced to 50 percent, less than the current 75 percent.

For those returning to the workplace, employers need to move their start time and perform flexible working hours. Split team arrangements are not required.

However, social gatherings in the workplace should be avoided, authorities said. In cases where they cannot be avoided, meetings are limited to the changed group size of five.

CAN I STILL OFFER SERVICES?

Yes, but COVID-19 pre-event testing will be required for services with more than 100 participants at a time.

There is no change to the cap of 250 participants, but at the moment testing for events is not necessary.

As an additional measure, congregational singing will be suspended in religious organizations to manage risk of COVID-19 spread.

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HOW DO WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS BECOME POPULATION?

As with current restrictions, wedding receptions can continue with a maximum of 250 participants. This includes the married couple, but excluding the solemn and vendors.

Guests must be grouped in zones of up to 50 participants.

What is new is that testing for events for the married couple is necessary if their solemnization involves more than 50 participants.

Likewise, weddings with a maximum of 250 participants can continue in zones or time slots of a maximum of 50 guests each.

But event testing will be required for all participants if the reception involves more than 50 people. This limit is currently set to 100.

For funerals and cremations, the cap on attendees will be reduced from 50 to 30. The limit for other days of the vigil will remain at 30 people at a time.

covid-19 events restrictions, May 4, 2021 - infographic

Will ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS CLOSE?

No, but there will be a new limit on the number of visitors.

Business capacities at attractions, museums and public libraries will be reduced from 65 percent to 50 percent.

Tour groups will have to reduce the number of participants to 20 people from the current limit of 50.

For cinemas, event testing will be required if there are more than 100 patterns. There will be no change in the total number of protectors allowed, that is a maximum of 250.

USE OF TRACKING TOGETHER

Remember to bring your TraceTogether token with you when you leave, or just use the TraceTogether app on your phone.

Trace Together-only Safe Entry at high-risk locations will begin on May 17, after authorities announced that implementation will be advanced by two weeks.

Scanning of Safe Entry QR codes with phone cameras and the SingPass application will be stopped from the same day. National identity card check-ins are allowed until May 31st to facilitate the transition.

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