SINGAPORE: All public libraries will allow patrons to spend up to three hours in their premises from next Tuesday (Oct 20) with safe distancing and capacity control measures in place, the National Library Board (NLB) said on Thursday.
Patrons can visit the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library and regional libraries – in Jurong, Tampines and Woodlands – for up to three hours, and two hours in all other public libraries.
Each person is currently limited to a 30-minute and two-hour restriction at the public libraries and the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library respectively.
"The duration of stay in our premises for each patron will be increased so that patrons can spend more time to read, study and work in our facilities," NLB said.
Visitors will also be allowed to use seating and study areas in the public libraries, including eNewspaper and multimedia stations, but at limited capacity.
Safe management measures, such as timed entry and an online booking system, will remain in place to ensure that public health and safety are not compromised, NLB said in a media release.
More services such as public programmes will also resume at the National Library building, 25 public libraries and Oldham Theatre in the National Archives of Singapore Building.
Guided tours remain suspended.
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The Asian Film Archive’s public screenings of films at Oldham Theatre will have an increased capacity of 50 people per screening for both the theatre and the atrium. There will be up to two film screenings per screening day.
Seating in the theatre and intermingling between groups will still be subjected to safe distancing measures.
Patrons who visit any NLB facility must wear their masks at all times. NLB said it will also frequently disinfect high touchpoints in its premises.
"With programmes resuming, additional cleaning, sanitisation and ventilation of programme areas will also be carried out between sessions," the board said.
All public libraries in Singapore were closed on Apr 7, which was the start of the country's COVID-19 "circuit breaker" period. They reopened on Jul 1 with shorter opening hours, as well as limits on the number of people allowed and duration of visits.