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New COVID-19 measures in Singapore: What is allowed under the tighter restrictions?

New COVID-19 measures in Singapore: What is allowed under the tighter restrictions?

Chinatown Complex Food Centre on May 16, 2021 on the first day of heightened COVID-19 measures.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced tighter measures on Friday (May 14) after a spike in COVID-19 community cases. The new measures, labelled as Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), will take effect from May 16 to Jun 13. 

Dining-in at F&B establishments will not be allowed, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong at a press conference. This includes hawker centres and food courts, both indoors and outdoors.

The current size of group gatherings allowed will also be reduced from five people to two people.

Here are some of what is allowed, and what is not allowed, under the new measures: 

IS DINING IN ALLOWED? 

No, dining-in at F&B establishments will cease on May 16. This includes hawker centres and food courts, both indoor and outdoors. Instead, takeaway and delivery options are available. 

This is to reduce the risk of community transmissions, said MOH. It added that F&B establishments are a higher-risk setting as customers often dine for prolonged periods in close proximity with one another with their masks off.

READ: Group sizes down from 5 to 2, dining-in suspended as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures

CAN I STILL MEET UP WITH MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY?

Yes, but households can only receive up to two unique visitors a day. Social gatherings are also allowed, with up to two per day, whether to another household or in a public place. 

Grandchildren who are cared for by their grandparents are not included in the number of household visitors or social gatherings per day, said MOH. 

For group gatherings, only up to two people are allowed. 

READ: Household members can go out in groups of more than 2 for 'essential activities': Ong Ye Kung

AM I ALLOWED TO WORK IN THE OFFICE?

Work-from-home will be the default at workplaces and employers must ensure that employees who are able to work from home do so. There should also be no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites. 

Social gatherings at the workplace are also not allowed. Employees can have their meal breaks in the workplaces but they should refrain from intermingling with their colleagues when their masks are taken off while eating. 

Employers should also continue to stagger the start times of employees who need to return to the workplace and implement flexible working hours. 

READ: F&B businesses to get increased support from Jobs Support Scheme following tightening of COVID-19 measures

CAN I STILL ATTEND WORSHIP SERVICES?

Congregational and other worship services are allowed to continue with a reduced capacity of 50 attendees at any one time without pre-event testing. Up to 100 attendees are allowed with pre-event testing implemented. 

However, live singing and playing of wind instruments will be suspended. 

"To further mitigate the risk of spread through aerosol transmissions, religious workers and all other participants must wear their masks at all times," said MOH. 

ARE WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS ALLOWED TO GO ON? 

Yes, marriage solemnisations are allowed to continue, with up to 50 attendees without pre-event testing and 100 attendees with pre-event testing. 

However, wedding receptions will not be allowed, in line with measures on dine-in F&B establishments. 

For funerals, a total of 20 people or fewer are allowed at all days of the funeral, which includes burial or cremation. This is down from the current cap of 30 people. 

READ: Public transport can be 'very safe' if commuters keep their masks on and refrain from talking, says transport minister

WILL ATTRACTIONS, TOURS AND SHOPPING MALLS CLOSE?

Tour groups are still allowed to operate, with up to 20 people per tour. Museums and public libraries will be allowed to operate at a reduced capacity of 25 per cent. 

Attractions that received the Ministry of Trade and Industry's prior approval to operate will have their operating capacity reduced to 25 per cent, down from the current capacity of 50 per cent. Indoor and outdoor shows may proceed with up to 100 people with pre-event testing, and up to 50 people without.

Shopping malls and showrooms will have their occupancy limits further reduced, from the current 10 sqm per person of gross floor area to 16 sq m per person. Odd and even date entry restrictions on Sundays for popular malls, such as Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza, will continue. 

CAN I STILL GO TO THE CINEMAS OR ATTEND LIVE EVENTS? 

Cinemas will be allowed to operate, with up to 100 people allowed into the halls with pre-event testing implemented. Only up to 50 people may be allowed without pre-event testing. The prevailing group size of two people still applies. 

However, food and beverages may not be sold or consumed in the cinema. 

Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) events and live performances are allowed, with up to 100 people with pre-event testing and up to 50 people without. 

Speakers and performers are not allowed to remove their masks. Singing or playing of wind and brass instruments are also not allowed. 

No spectators are also allowed at sports events and all planned mass participation sports events continue to be closed. 

CAN I GO FOR DENTAL OR FACIAL APPOINTMENTS? 

Services that require masks to be removed, such as facials and saunas, are not allowed. These services will have to cease operating. 

However, dental and medical consultations are still allowed as these require patients to have their masks off. 

AM I ALLOWED TO PLAY SPORTS INDOORS?

No, strenuous indoor exercise classes, as well as strenuous individual and group indoor sports and activities will not be allowed. The recent clusters have shown that "higher attack rates and secondary transmission" occur in mask-off settings. 

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Source: CNA/lk(rw)

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