Singapore eases some COVID restrictions from June 14 as number of new cases declines
Singapore will increase the group size limit for social gatherings from two to five people per household from June 14, as the country begins to ease restrictions after recording a drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the community.
However, social gatherings should be limited to no more than two a day, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday, announcing the first step of Singapore’s plan to return to phase III, also known as ‘High alert’, from June 14, which is a stage of controlling the movement of people to manage the spread of the coronavirus.
Working from home will also remain the default arrangement, even if Singapore moves to Phase III (heightened alert) in the coming weeks, according to a report from Channel News Asia.
“Employers need to ensure that employees who can work from home continue to do so,” Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministerial task force, said at a press conference.
Other restrictions will be relaxed in the second stage from June 21, when on-site meals can resume if the COVID-19 situation remains under control in the coming weeks.
On why on-site meals will not be allowed until later, COVID-19 multi-ministerial task force co-chair Gan Kim Yong said the government wanted to make sure the situation was “stable” before it moved forward. authorize the resumption of meals on site.
“Eating is considered a high risk activity because the masks are off,” he said.
Food and drink outlets must strictly adhere to a safety distance of at least 1 meter between groups of diners of no more than five people, the health ministry said in a press release.
“We will significantly strengthen law enforcement and take stronger enforcement action for any violation,” he added.
“Guests are reminded to keep their masks on at all times except when eating or drinking.” Wedding receptions, which are currently not permitted, will be able to resume from June 21.
Gyms and fitness studios can also resume indoor sports activities without a mask from June 21, with a safety distance of at least 2 meters between individuals and at least 3 meters between groups of 5 people. maximum.
Sports lessons – indoors and outdoors – will be limited to 30 people, instructor included, per group of 5 people maximum.
In-person classes and enrichment classes for those aged 18 and under will be allowed to resume from June 21 with enhanced security management measures, which will be announced by the Ministry of Education, a said the Ministry of Health.
The relaxation of the rules comes as the number of COVID-19 cases, both linked and unrelated, has declined “gradually” in recent weeks, Gan said.
“Fewer clusters emerge, and generally smaller clusters, our aggressive monitoring and testing regimes have also enabled us to detect and contain potential cases much earlier by slowing and limiting transmission in the community,” Gan said, quoted by the channel.
The limits on the size of events will also be increased.
Museums and public libraries will also be allowed to operate at a 50% increased operating capacity.
To minimize the likelihood of large clusters of infection, pre-event testing remains an “essential” measure to ensure events can proceed safely for participants, the health ministry said.
Congregational and other religious services, wedding receptions, and wedding celebrations with higher attendance are among the events that will require such testing.
Congregational and other worship services can take place starting June 14 with up to 250 participants with pre-event testing. Such tests will not be required for worship activities with 50 participants or less. However, unmasking and singing or playing of wind instruments during live performances during religious services may not resume until June 21.
Wedding receptions may resume with a maximum of 100 participants, including the bride and groom, but excluding suppliers, as pre-event testing is required for all participants.
For wedding receptions, up to 50 participants, pre-event testing is only required for all members of the wedding party which must be made up of a maximum of 20 participants, including the bride and groom.
The government announced on May 14 that working from home would become the default for workplaces after a spike in community COVID-19 infections.
This was part of a series of measures in phase 2 (enhanced alert) aimed at reducing the number of cases.
Meanwhile, Singapore reported 13 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, four of which were from the community or region.
Nine cases were imported through international air travel and were ordered to stay at home upon arrival in Singapore. Seven are returning Singaporeans or permanent residents.
Singapore reported 62,236 cases of COVID-19 and 34 deaths linked to the virus on Thursday.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)