SINGAPORE: It's been almost a month since COVID-19 restrictions were tightened, when another new phrase - Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) - entered the pandemic lexicon.
On Thursday (Jun 10), Singapore's Ministry of Health announced it would ease some of these curbs. This will take place in two phases - on Jun 14, and if the situation remains under control, a week later on Jun 21.
This gradual reopening comes on the back of a fall in the number of COVID-19 community cases. Here's what you can look forward to on Jun 14, and possibly Jun 21.
WHAT IS ALLOWED FROM JUN 14?
BIGGER SOCIAL GATHERINGS
The limit on group sizes for social gatherings will be increased from two to five. Households will also be allowed to receive five distinct visitors per day, up from the current two. The prevailing advice to limit social gatherings to no more than two a day stays.
READ: Up to 5 in a group allowed from Jun 14; dining-in may resume on Jun 21 in phased easing of COVID-19 curbs
BIGGER MARRIAGE SOLEMNISATIONS
Up to 250 attendees will be allowed at marriage solemnisations with pre-event testing, up from the current limit of 100. For solemnisations without pre-event testing, a maximum of 50 attendees will be allowed.
Couples will be allowed to unmask for key wedding moments while attendees will be allowed to unmask momentarily for photo-taking. Under current restrictions, attendees have to wear face masks at all times, while the bride and groom may wear face shields.
BIGGER GROUPS FOR ACTIVITIES
Groups of up to five people will be allowed for staycations. Where individuals are all from the same household, the limit is the room’s capacity.
A maximum of 250 attendees will be allowed in cinemas with pre-event testing, up from the current limit of 100. If there are fewer than 50 cinema-goers, pre-event testing will not be required. Food and beverage will remain prohibited.
Similarly, for live performances and MICE events, a maximum of 250 attendees will be allowed from Jun 14 with pre-event testing, up from the current limit of 100.
Spectator sports events may also resume from Jun 14, with up to 250 attendees if pre-event testing is conducted.
The operating capacity of attractions, including the two cruise pilots, that have received prior approval from the authorities will be increased from the current limit of 25 per cent to 50 per cent from Jun 14.
Tour groups of up to 50 people will be allowed from Jun 14 for conveyance tours like Duck Tours. Other tours will continue to be limited to 20 people.
Congregational and other worship services will have a 250-person limit with pre-event testing, up from a limit of 100 people from Jun 14. If there are fewer than 50 people, testing will not be required.
Museums and public libraries will be allowed to operate at an increased capacity of 50 per cent from Jun 14.
At shopping malls and showrooms, the occupancy limit will be relaxed to one person per 10 sqm (previously 16 sqm) of Gross Floor Area.
Services that require masks to be removed like facials and saunas can also resume on Jun 14.
WHAT IS EXPECTED TO BE ALLOWED FROM JUN 21?
THE RETURN OF DINING-IN
Eating out at hawker centres, food courts, restaurants and all other eateries may resume from Jun 21, in groups of up to five. Under current restrictions, only takeaway and delivery services are permitted.
Wedding receptions, which are currently not allowed, may be able to resume from Jun 21. For receptions with up to 100 attendees - including the wedding couple but excluding vendors - pre-event testing is required. For receptions with up to 50 attendees, pre-event testing is required only for the wedding party of up to 20 people.
Gyms and fitness studios may also resume indoor sports activities with masks off from Jun 21, all while maintaining a distance of at least 2m between individuals and at least 3m between groups of up to five people.
Sports classes - both indoors and outdoors - will be capped at 30 people including the instructor, in groups of no more than five people.
MOH urged participants to remain masked where possible.
OTHER ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MASKS
From Jun 21, the singing and playing of instruments that require expulsion of air at live performances and MICE events may be allowed. Participants of congregational and worship services may also resume singing and the playing of wind and brass instruments.
RESUMPTION OF TUITION
In-person tuition and enrichment classes for those aged 18 and below may be allowed to resume from Jun 21 with enhanced safe management measures, which will be announced later by the Ministry of Education.
WORK-FROM-HOME TO STAY
There will be no change to work-from-home arrangements, which will remain the default at the workplace.
The status quo will also be maintained for funerals - with a cap of 20 people at any point in time on all days.
Barbeque pits and campsites in parks, HDB estates, condominiums and country clubs will continue to be closed to the public.