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COVID-19: Playgrounds, beaches to reopen at start of Phase 2

COVID-19: Playgrounds, beaches to reopen at start of Phase 2

A cordoned-off playground near Block 878A Tampines Street 86. (Photo: Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources)

SINGAPORE: Playgrounds and beaches will reopen as soon as Singapore enters the second phase of its post-"circuit breaker" transition on Friday, said the Public Service Division (PSD) on Wednesday (Jun 17) in announcing a list of places which will open to the public.

Facilities in public housing estates, parks and most sport facilities are among venues that will reopen.

However, libraries and museums will remain closed at the start of Phase 2 and "progressively open later", said PSD in a media release.

"Our primary consideration is to safeguard the health and well-being of the public and staff," it added.

"To minimise the risks of outbreaks of infection, other facilities that may involve large numbers of people interacting with one another in enclosed spaces, or for prolonged period of time, will not reopen for the time being. They may reopen later, and in a limited way."

READ: No buffets and testing of beauty products - list of Phase 2 safety guidelines released for retail and F&B outlets

READ: COVID-19: Religious services, large-scale events and entertainment venues ‘will take more time’ to resume

WHAT'S OPEN ON JUN 19

Places that were closed during Phase 1 and will reopen in Phase 2 include those under the National Parks Board (NParks), Singapore Land Authority, Sentosa Development Corporation and town councils. 

Playgrounds, skate parks, fishing areas, dog runs, beaches, car parks, as well as food and beverage and retail outlets are among those that will reopen in gardens, parks and nature reserves.

Function spaces will also reopen for wedding solemnisations. The event will be subject to a cap of 20 people - excluding the solemniser - or less, depending on the venue's capacity, NParks said in a media advisory.

Activities such as picnics and recreational games will be allowed, up to a maximum of five people in a group.

"For pre-schools, groups of up to 10 students with two staff will be permitted in our gardens and parks," said NParks.

The agency added that all landscape-related services and nurseries will resume, as will all animal-related activities such as the sale and adoption of pets, as well as pets boarding.

A majority of SportSG facilities as well as vacant open fields owned by the State will reopen.

All beaches and nature walks in Sentosa will also reopen, as will common property such as playgrounds, fitness corners and seating areas in public housing estates.

Beaches at St John’s, Lazarus and Kusu islands will also reopen to the public on Friday.

However, St John’s Island Lodge, which includes the holiday bungalow and three campsites, will remain closed for now, said SLA.

READ: Hawker centres to feature new seating arrangement during Phase 2, hand sanitiser dispensers to be installed - NEA

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

WHAT'S CLOSED AT START OF PHASE 2, BUT WILL PROGRESSIVELY OPEN LATER

Certain venues will remain closed at the start of Phase 2 but will "progressively open later", said PSD.

These include: Public libraries, National Library Building, National Archives of Singapore, museums and heritage institutions, as well as exhibition or gallery spaces.

WHAT'S CLOSED FOR THE WHOLE OF PHASE 2

While many venues at parks and gardens will reopen, barbecue pits, camping sites, galleries and attractions at those places will remain closed, said PSD.

All indoor and outdoor performance venues, such as theatres, performance halls and blackboxes, will also remain closed - except for workplace activities and training or workshops, subject to safe management measures. 

READ: Schools to resume CCAs gradually, PE group activities limited to 5 students per group

COURT HEARINGS AND COMMUNITY CENTRES

In tandem with more venues resuming in Phase 2, activities and courses at community centres or clubs will be able to resume "in a limited way", "with reduced density, intensity and duration", said PSD.

Class sizes will be controlled with no more than five people in a group, the People’s Association said in a separate media release on Thursday,

Booking of sports facilities such as badminton halls and gyms will be allowed to resume, with certain limits in accordance with SportSG guidelines.

These include individuals maintaining a distance of 2m from each other at all times while playing sports, a five-person limit for groups and a capacity cap at the premises.

PA added that community centres will be open daily except on public holidays. Other PA facilities such as PAssion WaVe outlets and imPAct@Hong Lim Green will also be open for booking of selected facilities and courses. Residents’ Committee Centres will remain closed.

Meanwhile, for court hearings, the judiciary may also restrict the number of people at the hearings so as to comply with safe distancing measures, said PSD in its release.

"The Public Service will continue to recommend that citizens access public services and transactions through digital means as much as possible, although various service centres have been attending to citizens via appointments," said PSD.

READ: CPF, HDB, IRAS to resume operations at service counters from Jun 2, by appointment only

PSD also said that public officers who can work from home will continue to do so.

Safe distancing and SafeEntry measures will be implemented at all public service centres and workplaces to facilitate contract tracing, it added.

A list of public facilities and services that will reopen in Phase 2 can be found here.

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Source: CNA/jt(aj/gs)

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