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Choa Chu Kang Cemetery, government columbaria to reopen under Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening

Choa Chu Kang Cemetery, government columbaria to reopen under Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening

Screengrab from Google Street View of Choa Chu Kang Cemetery.

SINGAPORE: Visits to Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and the government-managed columbaria at Choa Chu Kang, Yishun and Mandai will be allowed when Singapore enters the second phase of its reopening on Friday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (Jun 16).

Visitors have to wear masks and maintain a safe distance of at least 1m at all times, NEA said.

Families visiting the facilities will be limited to a maximum of five per group, as per the rules under Phase 2 of the reopening.

"As crowds are expected in the early part of Phase Two, visitors are advised to not prolong their stay at the cemetery or columbaria, or visit during the later part of Phase Two instead, said NEA.

Those who feel unwell or are sick should stay at home, see a doctor, and avoid visiting the facilities, it added. Families should avoid bringing along elderly family members or young children. 

Additionally, as announced by the multi-ministry task force on Monday, attendance for cremations, burial services and funeral wakes will be limited to 20 people, up from the previous limit of 10.

READ: COVID-19: Phase 2 of reopening to start from Jun 19, social gatherings of up to five people allowed

The columbaria were closed and visits to the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and Mandai Crematorium, with the exception for funerals, were not permitted during the "circuit breaker" period and Phase 1 of reopening, in line with elevated safe-distancing measures.

After the circuit breaker period was implemented on Apr 7, grass cutting of the common areas at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery was affected due to a shortage of available workers.

Grass cutting was accelarated after Singapore entered into Phase 1 of its reopening  on Jun 2 and eased some measures, but not all burial plots will have their grass cut by Friday, said NEA.

READ: Garden of Peace: Ash scattering garden at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery to be open to all faiths

"Families visiting Choa Chu Kang Cemetery are advised to stagger their visits according to the completion of grass cutting schedules at the cemetery, and to exercise care when moving within the cemetery compound if they have to visit before then," it said.

It advised those who visit the cemetery ahead of the completion of grass cutting to apply insect repellent, wear protective footwear and watch out for potholes, cracks or uneven surfaces.

Safety advisory signs will be put up at burial blocks that are pending grass cutting services, said NEA, adding that its officers will also be deployed around those blocks to oversee the safety of visitors. 

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Source: CNA/lk

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