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GE2020: Public reminded to observe COVID-19 safe distancing measures in interactions with candidates

GE2020: Public reminded to observe COVID-19 safe distancing measures in interactions with candidates

People eating at a hawker centre in Ang Mo Kio Central on Jun 19, 2020, as Singapore moves into Phase 2 of its reopening. (Photo: Rachel Phua)

SINGAPORE: Members of the public are reminded to continue observing COVID-19 safe distancing measures in the context of Singapore's upcoming General Election, the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) said on Friday (Jun 26).

After Nomination Day on Jun 30, political parties and candidates can be expected to ramp up campaigning activities in the run up to Polling Day on Jul 10, the ministry said in a media advisory.

Singapore on Jun 19 entered Phase 2 of its reopening after a "circuit breaker" period to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Elections Department (ELD) had earlier issued campaigning guidelines for political parties and candidates as well as guidelines for voters for a General Election that falls within Phase 2.

Friday's advisory "serves to also remind and encourage all members of public to continue to observe safe distancing measures, so as to ensure a safe General Election ... for all", said MEWR.

READ: What are the COVID-19 safety measures for Polling Day? Here’s what voters need to know

When encountering candidates on their walkabouts, the "required actions and best practices" include avoiding physical contact with candidates and their supporters.

"Refrain from shaking hands or engaging in greetings where there is physical contact, such as fist bumps or high fives," the advisory said.

Members of the public should maintain a distance of 1m from other individuals, such as when interacting with candidates or queuing for campaigning items like flyers.

They should also continue to wear a face mask when interacting with candidates, and "refrain from following or crowding around" candidates and their supporters.

These guidelines also apply when taking photographs with candidates – members of the public should maintain a distance of at least 1m and wear their face masks.

SAFE DOOR-TO-DOOR VISITS

During door-to-door visits by political parties and candidates, members of the public should also practise these safe distancing measures and avoid physical contact.

"Maintain at least a one-metre safe distance when interacting with candidate(s) at your doorstep; you should also wear your face mask," the advisory said.

"If you wish to invite candidate(s) into your home, adhere to the limit of five visitors", which is inclusive of any visitors already inside the household.

Inside the household, all individuals should wear face masks.

"Candidate(s) and their accompanying supporters must continue to wear face masks when inside your home. You should also put on a face mask for your protection," the advisory said.

Guidelines announced by ELD on Jun 18 similarly require political parties and candidates doing door-to-door visits to cap their groups at five people, wear face masks and avoid physical contact.

SUPPORTING REMOTELY

ELD had on Jun 18 announced that no physical rallies will be allowed for a General Election that falls within Phase 2. Instead, candidates will be given free airtime on Mediacorp's Channel 5, in addition to Party Political Broadcasts on 19 TV and radio channels.

READ: GE2020: Constituency political broadcasts to start from Jul 3; keep safe distance when campaigning, says ELD

To avoid crowds, members of the public are encouraged to watch these broadcasts and online rallies at home.

They should also refrain from gathering or loitering in the vicinity of Nomination Centres during nomination proceedings.

"Safe Distancing Ambassadors and Safe Distancing Enforcement Officers will continue to be on the ground to help keep everyone safe. Please cooperate with and listen to them.

"For the health and safety of everyone, it is paramount that political parties, candidates and members of the public abide by the above safe distancing and safe management measures," the advisory said.

Source: CNA/dv(ac)

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