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Congregants allowed to sing with masks on at worship services from Apr 5

Congregants allowed to sing with masks on at worship services from Apr 5

Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Good Shepherd on Bras Basah Road, Singapore. (File photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: Congregants will be allowed to resume singing during worship services from Monday (Apr 5), subject to certain rules such as mask-wearing and a 30-minute time limit.

In a release on Wednesday, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said that worshippers must keep their masks on at all times when singing. The duration of the singing must also be capped at 30 minutes in a single worship service.

Other rules include maintaining good ventilation and wiping down the venue in between worship services.

Religious organisations are also encouraged to implement a distance of 2m between groups of up to eight worshippers if they are singing, said MCCY.

All congregational worship and religious services were suspended in March last year as Singapore tried to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. ​​​​​​​

They were allowed to resume in June with up to 50 people at a time in Phase 2 of Singapore's post-"circuit breaker" reopening.

This was increased to 250 people when Singapore entered Phase 3 of its reopening, with live performances allowed to resume on Dec 28.

Up to 10 people who were involved in conducting the worship service were also allowed to remove their masks at any given time, of which up to five could unmask for singing.

From Apr 5, those involved in or supporting the conduct of worship services will be allowed to sing while masked, said MCCY on Wednesday. They are subject to the prevailing cap of 30 people, and recommended to keep a distance of 2m from other individuals.

Existing measures will remain in place. This includes keeping service durations short, not allowing the sharing of prayer or common items and segregating worshippers into zones of no more than 50 people.

READ: Worship services may resume with up to 50 people at a time in Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening

READ: Up to 250 people, live performances allowed at worship services in Phase 3 of Singapore's reopening

INCREASED CAPACITY FOR SOLEMNISATIONS, FUNERALS

Wedding solemnisations and funerals at places of worship will also have attendance capacities increased starting Apr 24.

Up to 250 people will be allowed to attend marriage solemnisations - an increase from the previous 100 limit - if the wedding couple undergoes pre-event testing, MCCY said.

Guests must still be segregated in zones of up to 50 people each, with 1m between groups. Intermingling or mixing between groups are still not allowed.

READ: Weddings, live performances to have increased capacities with pre-event COVID-19 tests

The attendance cap for funerals and wakes will also be increased from the current 30 to 50 attendees at any given time. However, this will only apply on the day of the burial or cremation, MCCY said.

Receptions with food and drinks are still not allowed for these events.

SafeEntry Gateway will also be required at main entrances for congregational or worship services with more than 100 people as an additional check-in mode starting Apr 19.

It will be progressively introduced at places of worship to facilitate quicker and more seamless check-in, though existing modes of check-in will remain in place, MCCY said.

More religious organisation employees will also be allowed to return to the workplace to “better support in-person collaboration and business operations” starting Apr 5, MCCY added.

This is subject to prevailing workplace safe management measures stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower.

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Source: CNA/ga

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