Published on : Friday, June 11, 2021
On Thursday, Singapore government announced that it is planning to start easing COVID-related restrictions starting June 14 as the number of daily COVID-19 cases has reduced. The country is currently following stringent curbs introduced to prevent the spread of new coronavirus cases.
Strict measures introduced last month included no dining-in at food and beverage outlets and smaller social gatherings. However, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said Singapore will gradually reopen and move to phase three (heightened alert) in two steps.
Starting Monday, Singapore will allow social gatherings of five people, an increase from the current two-person limit. The two-person limit on the number of unique daily visitors to a household will also be raised to five. Groups of up to five per room will also be allowed for hotel stays. Limits on event attendees and operating capacity at venues such as public libraries and museums will also be relaxed.
The government has said that gatherings should still be limited to small groups of regular contacts, to reduce the likelihood of transmission. The public has also been advised to limit the number of social gatherings to no more than two a day. Attractions, cruises, museums and public libraries will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent of their normal capacity from June 14, up from the current 25 per cent.
Events such as movie screenings at cinemas, MICE industry events, worship services and marriage ceremonies outside the home will be able to resume with up to 250 attendees, if pre-event testing (PET) is conducted. PET will not be required for events with 50 or fewer attendees. Personal care services like salons, parlours and facials will be allowed to resume.
Meanwhile, work from home will remain the default mode of work for everyone possible. The MOH has said that employers must ensure that employees who can work from home continue to do so even as Singapore reopens gradually. Employers will still not be allowed to cross-deploy workers to multiple work sites. The government has also asked employers to allow flexible timings.
If the COVID situation stays under control, further easing of restrictions will take place from June 21. Activities such as dine-in, as well as activities at gyms and fitness studios that require removal of masks may be allowed to resume with some social-distancing measures in place. Sports classes, both indoors and outdoors, will be limited to 30 people, including the instructor, and groups must consist of no more than five people. In-person tuition and enrichment classes for those aged 18 and below may also be allowed to resume from June 21.
Local infections in Singapore have fallen to single-digit levels in recent days. According to reports, around 2.5 million people in Singapore have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. From Friday, the country will also allow those from 12 to 39 years old to register for vaccination. Singapore Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs Singapore’s Covid taskforce, said aims to have 50% of its population fully vaccinated by August. By October, that number would reach 75% or more.