Singapore

Stricter rules for large events effective from Saturday until May 30

Stricter rules for large events will take effect from Saturday until May 30, as Singapore tightens its Covid-19 measures to tackle the recent spike in cases here.

The maximum number of people allowed to attend live performances and business-to-business events will be reduced from 750 to 250, with pre-event testing required if the number of participants exceeds 100.

Similarly, congregational and other worship services will have to implement pre-event testing for gatherings of more than 100 people. Services are capped at 250 people as before, and singing will no longer be allowed.

Wedding solemnisations of up to 250 attendees - including the couple, but excluding the solemniser and vendors - may proceed, with guests split into zones of 50. But pre-event testing will be required for the wedding couple in gatherings of more than 50 people.

Likewise, wedding receptions with up to 250 people may continue in zones or time slots of up to 50 attendees each. But all receptions of more than 50 people will have to implement pre-event testing for all attendees, given the higher risks involved.

The authorities will not hesitate to impose even more stringent rules should new unlinked cases emerge or large clusters form in the coming weeks, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday at a press conference.

"For weddings, we are applying a slightly tighter restriction because in a wedding setting, the risks are higher," he added. "People are gathered together without masks and eating."

At funerals, the cap on attendees on the day of burial or cremation will be cut from 50 to 30.

No spectators will be allowed at sports events, and all mass participation sporting events will be suspended. Indoor gyms and fitness studios - deemed higher-risk settings - will also be closed.

Cinemas will have to introduce pre-event testing to take in more than 100 attendees. The cap of 250 people remains.

Lastly, the operating capacity of libraries and museums will be reduced from 65 per cent to 50 per cent, and the maximum tour size offered by tour operators and tourist guides will be reduced from 50 to 20 attendees.

The Health Ministry said in a statement yesterday it would continue to monitor other settings such as indoor sports halls, spas and massage parlours.

Addressing reporters, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said Singapore has not ruled out the possibility of a second circuit breaker.

"Certainly, we hope we won't get there and we must do what we can with this set of measures that we have just announced."

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.

coronavirus