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Istana main building to be open to visitors for the first time since COVID-19 outbreak

Istana main building to be open to visitors for the first time since COVID-19 outbreak
File photo of visitors at the Istana. (File photo: CNA/Nadia Jansen Hassan)

SINGAPORE: The Istana will hold an open house on May 7 to celebrate Labour Day and Hari Raya Puasa, the President’s Office said on Thursday (Apr 21).

For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors will be able to purchase admission passes to enter the Istana's main building, where they can visit selected function rooms, a collection of State Gifts as well as the room set-ups for state events.

Since open house events resumed last August, visitors have only been able to visit the Istana's outdoor gardens.

Safe management measures will be in place, with visitors required to remain masked at all times when indoors, the President’s Office said.

Entry to the Istana grounds is free, however, those who wish to visit will have to apply for tickets. They can apply for up to five tickets for a two-hour timeslot starting from 9am, 11am, 1pm or 3pm.

If tickets are oversubscribed, they will be allocated by an electronic balloting system, the President’s Office said.

Applications can be made on this website from 10am on Apr 25 to 10am on Apr 26. Children, including infants, must have valid tickets to enter the grounds.

Admission to the main building costs S$2 for Singaporeans and permanent residents. Entry for all other visitors is also S$2 for children aged between four and 12, and S$4 for adults. Those under the age of four can enter for free.

While there will once again be no performances, tours or food trucks during this open house, there will be merchandise booths where visitors can purchase Istana and President’s Challenge souvenirs. Only cashless payments will be accepted.

All admission fees and proceeds from merchandise sales will go towards charities supported by the President’s Challenge.

The Istana is typically open to the public on five days each year. Open house events resumed on Aug 28 last year after a 19-month hiatus brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Istana subsequently welcomed visitors for Deepavali and Chinese New Year.

Source: CNA/kg

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