In light of the spike in community cases in recent weeks, the government has tightened up measures that will take effect from Sunday May 16, 2021 through to Sunday June 13, 2021. This guide will be regularly updated to reflect the latest circulars by the Ministry of Health.
What is the rule on permissible group size and gatherings?
The current permissible group size will be reduced to up to 2 persons and a cap of 2 distinct visitors per household per day. You are also encouraged to limit your 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.
What about childcare arrangements?
Grandchildren being cared for by their grandparents on a daily basis will 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. Grandparents are also encouraged to minimize intermingling between grandchildren from different households to reduce the risk of transmission.
Can I still head to the office or only work-from-home?
Work-from-home will be the default at workplaces and 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. For those who are required to report to work, employers are to stagger start times and also implement flexible working hours. Social gatherings at the workplace will not be allowed. Meals can be taken at the workplace, intermingling with their colleagues when their masks are taken off is not allowed.
Am I able to dine in at restaurants and exercise at my regular gym?
Indoor “mask-off” activities such as dining in at F&B establishments (including food courts and hawker centers) will cease during this period. Only takeaway and delivery options will be available. Strenuous indoor exercise class or strenuous individual and group indoor sports and exercise activities will also not be allowed at this time. Additionally, personalized 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. However, medical and dental consultations that require you to have your masks off are still permissible. Refer to the Ministry of Health’s Annex A for the full details.
What about events, shows, and performances? Can they continue?
Event sizes will be scaled down and size caps will be lowered. Pre-event testing (PET) remains an essential measure to help ensure that events can proceed safely. More details on PET can be found on the MOH website.
MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) 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).
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. Religious workers and all other participants must wear masks at all times. Live singing and playing of wind instruments will also be suspended during this period.
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.
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.
Wedding receptions will not be allowed. Marriage solemnizations may continue for up to 100 participants with PET and 50 participants without PET.
For 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.
Can I still go to malls, museums, and libraries?
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. Museums and public libraries will be allowed to operate at a reduced capacity of 25%.
How about indoor and outdoor sports activities (low and high intensities)?
Organized programs and classes for low-intensity activities will have to carry out their sessions in groups of 2. Multiple groups of 2 will be allowed for these classes, with a maximum of 30 participants. The different groups are not allowed to intermingle and have to be 3-meters apart. An additional service provider such as an instructor or a coach may guide the group. However, for high-intensity outdoor activities such as swimming, where masks have to be removed, only 2 people are allowed and there can be no multiple groups of two. This includes the coach or instructor.
Indoor “high-risk environments”, which include indoor public and private gyms and fitness, exercise, and dance studios, will remain closed unless they only offer low-intensity physical activities.
Mass participation in sports events will remain suspended and all other sports events will have to be approved before proceeding. Those that can continue will have to proceed without spectators. More information here.
I have booked a staycation. Can I proceed?
Staycations can continue in hotels with guidelines. There will be no F&B dining-in or activities where masks are not used. Intermingling at the lobby and common areas between groups is not allowed and there is a limit in the total occupancy in common areas e.g. lobby, to no more than 1 individual per 16 sqm of space accessible to guests and visitors at any point in time. For more information, visit STB’s website here.
Can face shields be used in place of face masks?
Research has demonstrated that face shields cannot substitute masks in protecting the wearer from droplet infection. More importantly, face shields do not adequately prevent droplet spread if the wearer is infected. Face shields should therefore not be used as a substitute for mask wear, except for medical exceptions; or where the child is 12 years or younger; or for the married couple during the solemnization of their marriage.