National Day Parade 2021 to be postponed to Aug 21: MINDEF

National Day Parade 2021 to be postponed to Aug 21: MINDEF

A SAF personnel adjusting the Singapore Flag on his vehicle
An SAF personnel adjusts the Singapore Flag on his vehicle during a rehearsal of the mobile column in Tuas South on Aug 1, 2020. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: This year's National Day Parade (NDP) will be postponed to Aug 21 after the scheduled end of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said on Thursday (Jul 22).  

A ceremonial parade will be held instead on the original date of Aug 9. 

"It will be similar to the one held last year at the Padang, but will take place at the Float@Marina Bay," the ministry said in a press release.

"The heartland fireworks and Red Lions displays previously announced to be held over the Aug 7 to 8 weekend will be cancelled."

The NDP rehearsal and preview, previously planned for Jul 24 and Jul 31 respectively, have also been postponed.

"To prepare for the NDP on Aug 21, rehearsals will be conducted later in smaller component groups," MINDEF said, adding that the dates will not be announced so as to discourage crowds from gathering around Marina Bay.

"Since 1966, the NDP has been held every year to mark Singapore’s independence," the ministry said.

"This national event brings together Singaporeans from all walks of life, as one united people to affirm our unity and nationhood. The changes this year will enable NDP 2021 to be held in safer conditions, while maintaining that cherished tradition."

Singapore on Thursday moved back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Group sizes for social gatherings have been reduced from five to two and dining-in has been suspended. 

The restrictions will be in effect until Aug 18. The Health Ministry said earlier this week that the Government will review the measures in two weeks.

READ: MINDEF reviewing scale of National Day Parade and COVID-19 measures: Lawrence Wong

MINDEF's announcement comes two days after co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force Lawrence Wong said that this year's National Day Parade would continue as planned, with the Defence Ministry reviewing the scale of the event and other measures.

The parade was scheduled to be held at The Float @ Marina Bay on Aug 9, with spectators required to undergo pre-event testing and be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The organising committee had not announced spectator limits but previously said that tickets for the parade will not be open for public balloting because of pandemic safety concerns. 

Tickets would instead be given to those who have contributed to the fight against COVID-19, the committee said earlier this month. They include Singaporean frontliners, essential workers and community volunteers.

READ: NDP 2021: No public balloting, tickets to be given to COVID-19 frontliners and essential workers

Following the postponement of the National Day Parade, the Prime Minister's Office announced that the National Day Rally will be pushed back by a week to Aug 29.

As of Jul 21, the overall number of new cases in the community has increased from 88 cases in the week before to 766 cases in the past week. 

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from 14 in the week before to 82 cases in the past week.

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Source: CNA/zl(ta)

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