Singapore: New measures announced on Friday, May 14 by the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, in the light of increased number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and unlinked community cases.
New measures labelled as “Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)” will take effect from Sunday (May 16) for a month to June 13. A review will be taken after two weeks to see if the measures need to be adjusted further.
Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) Messures are :
A) Further reductions in permissible group size
There will be further reduce in the current permissible group size of up to 5 persons to up to 2 persons, and the cap of 5 distinct visitors per household per day to 2 distinct visitors per household per day. Individuals should continue to limit their overall number of social gatherings to not more than 2 per day, whether to another household, or meeting with friends and family members in a public place.
In order to allow families’ current childcare arrangements to continue, grandchildren being cared for by their grandparents on a daily basis would not be counted towards the cap of 2 distinct visitors per household, or to the number of social gatherings per day. However grandparents are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19, to protect both themselves and their grandchildren from COVID-19 infection. To reduce the risk of transmission, grandparents should also minimise intermingling between grandchildren from different households.
B) Minimising Workplace Interactions
Work-from-home will be the default at workplaces. Employers must ensure that employees who are able to work from home do so. There should continue to be no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites. 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 will not be allowed. Employees may have meal breaks at the workplace, but refrain from intermingling with their colleagues when their masks are taken off. These measures will lower transmission risks by reducing overall footfall and interactions at common spaces at or near the workplace, and in public places, including public transport.
C) Cessation of Indoor “Mask-Off” Activities
The recent clusters have demonstrated higher attack rates and secondary transmission occur in mask-off settings, households, and at eateries. To reduce risks of community transmission, indoor “mask-off” activities such as dine-in F&B establishments will cease during this period. Other activities which will also not be allowed during this period include strenuous indoor exercise class or strenuous individual and group indoor sports and exercise activities. In addition, personalised services which require masks to be removed (e.g. facials and saunas), singing, and the playing of instruments that require intentional expulsion of air (e.g. wind or brass instruments) will also not be allowed. These restrictions will not apply to medical and dental consultations that require patients to have their masks off.
Cessation of Dine-in Food and Beverage (F&B). Dine-in 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. To reduce the risk of community transmission, dine-in F&B establishments (including hawker centres and foodcourts), both indoor and outdoor, will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery options.
D)Reduction of Activity and Event Sizes and Pre-Event Testing Requirements.
To minimise the likelihood of large cluster formations, we will further scale down event sizes and lower the event size caps. Pre-event testing (PET) remains an essential measure to help ensure that events can proceed safely for attendees. More details on PET can be found on the MOH website.
a. Congregational and other worship services. Congregational and other worship services may continue with a reduced capacity of 50 attendees at any one time without PET, or up to 100 attendees at any one time with PET implemented. To further mitigate the risk of spread through aerosol transmissions, religious workers and all other participants must wear their masks at all times. Live singing and playing of wind instruments will also be suspended during this period.
b. Shopping malls and showrooms. The occupancy limits for shopping malls and showrooms will be further reduced from the current limit of 10sqm per person of Gross Floor Area (GFA), to 16sqm per person. Odd and even date entry restrictions on Sundays for popular malls will continue.
c. Attractions and shows. The operating capacity of attractions that have received MTI’s prior approval will be reduced to 25% from the current permissible capacity of 50%. Indoor and outdoor shows may proceed with up to 100 persons with PET, and up to 50 persons without PET.
d. Museums and public libraries. Museums and public libraries will be allowed to operate at a reduced capacity of 25%.
e. Cinemas. Up to 100 persons may be allowed into cinema halls with PET implemented. Without PET, only up to 50 persons may be allowed. The prevailing group size of 2 persons applies, and food and beverages may not be sold or consumed in the cinema.
f. MICE and live performances. Up to 100 persons may be allowed with PET, and up to 50 persons may be allowed without PET. Unmasking is not allowed for speakers and performers, and there should be no singing or playing of instruments that require intentional expulsion of air (e.g. wind and brass instruments).
g. Wedding receptions and solemnisations.
- In line with measures on dine-in F&B establishments, wedding receptions will not be allowed.
- Marriage solemnisations may continue for up to 100 participants with PET and 50 participants without PET.
h. Funerals. The cap for attendees applicable to all days of the funeral, including the burial/ cremation, is 20 persons or less, down from 30 persons currently. Attendees are reminded to maintain safe distancing and keep masks on at all times to reduce the risk of transmission.