5-person limit for social gatherings, gyms to be closed: What are Singapore's new Covid-19 measures?

SINGAPORE – Tighter measures will come into force to guard against the increased spread of Covid-19 in Singapore.

Here are the new restrictions:

Additional community measures will take effect from Saturday (May 8) to May 30, the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 announced in a virtual press conference on Tuesday (May 4).

1. Social group sizes to be reduced to eight to five people

Individuals are advised to keep to two or less social gatherings per day.

The number of unique visitors per household per day will also be reduced from eight to five.

2. Closure of high-risk settings, such as indoor gyms and indoor fitness studios

Indoor gymnasiums and indoor fitness and health studios will be closed.

Outdoor organised exercise programmes and classes may still continue, subject to a class size of 30 attendees in total, with safe distancing measures. This includes group sizes of up to five people and a 3m distance between each group.

The task force will continue to monitor other higher-risk settings and activities, such as indoor sports halls and personalised services such as massages, spas and facials. If the community cases situation fails to improve, the task force will consider tightening restrictions further.

3. Workplace measures

Employers must ensure that no more than 50 per cent of employees who are able to work from home return to the workplace at any time, down from the current 75 per cent.

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

Social gatherings at the workplace should also be avoided. If social gatherings take place, they are subjected to a limit of five individuals.

4. Reduction of event sizes

a. Congregational and other worship services:

Pre-event testing will be required if there are more than 100 attendees at any one time, and such congregations must be capped at 250 attendees. Congregational singing will be suspended in religious organisations.

b. Weddings:

Marriage solemnisations may proceed with up to 250 attendees in total, in zones of up to 50 attendees. Pre-event testing will be required for the wedding couple for solemnisations involving more than 50 attendees.

Similarly, wedding receptions may proceed with up to 250 attendees in total, in zones or time slots of up to 50 attendees each.

Pre-event testing for all attendees, including the wedding couple, will be required for wedding receptions involving more than 50 attendees.

c. Funerals:

Attendees at the day of the burial or cremation will be limited to no more than 30 people, down from the current 50 people. The cap for other days of the wake remains at 30 attendees at any one time.

As pre-event testing is not required, attendees are reminded to maintain safe distancing and keep masks on at all times to reduce the risk of spread.

d. Sports events:

All mass participation sports events will be suspended and no spectators will be allowed.

e. Live performances, pilot business-to-business events and cinemas:

The maximum number of attendees will be reduced from 750 to 250.

Pre-event testing will be required for all attendees of these events if there are more than 100 attendees.

Cinema attendances will be reduced to 100 attendees, with the potential to increase to 250 attendees with the additional requirement of pre-event testing.

f. Museums and public libraries:

Operating capacity will be reduced from 65 per cent to 50 per cent.

g. Tours

The maximum tour group size will be reduced from 50 to 20 attendees.

Other announcements, including tighter border control measures, include: 

1. Trace Together

The implementation of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be brought forward to May 17 from the previously-announced June 1.

2. SafeEntry Gateway

SafeEntry Gateway will be required to be deployed at more high visitorship venues from June 15.

3. Tighter border measures from Friday (May 7), 11.59pm

– Prevailing border measures that apply to incoming travellers will be determined based on the travellers’ recent travel history in the past consecutive 21 days, instead of the existing assessed travel history period of 14 days.

– The stay-home notice (SHN) duration will be changed for the following groups:

a. All travellers with recent travel history to higher risk countries and regions will be required to serve a 21-day SHN at dedicated facilities.

Travellers who are currently serving a 14-day SHN and have yet to complete their SHN by Friday will be required to serve an additional 7-days at their current SHN location.

b. Travellers who have stayed in Fiji and Vietnam in the last 14 days before arrival in Singapore were previously allowed to opt out of serving 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.

However, from Friday, travellers who have stayed in these countries in the past consecutive 21 days before arrival in Singapore will be subjected to the 21-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities, with the option to serve the last 7 days at their place of residence.

Those who have yet to complete their 14-day SHN by Friday can complete their remaining 14-day SHN at their current SHN location, and request to serve their additional seven days at their place of residence.

c. Travellers from Britain, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka who are currently required to serve 21-day SHN will be required to serve the full duration of the SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.

Travellers who have yet to complete their 21-day SHN Friday will have to complete their 21-day SHN at their current SHN location to minimise movement and risk of transmission.

d. Travellers serving the 21-day SHN will undergo polymerase chain reaction tests on-arrival on Day 14 of their SHN, and another test before the end of their 21-day SHN period.

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