COVID-19: Social gatherings in Singapore cut to 5 persons, workplace attendance at 50% from 8-30 May

Amir Hussain
·Senior Reporter
·4 min read

SINGAPORE — Social gatherings will be capped at five persons per group, down from eight persons allowed currently, while workplace capacity will be cut from the current 75 per cent to 50 per cent, as part of additional measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The rule of five also applies to daily visitors per household. In addition, 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 be avoided, stressed the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The measures, which will take effect from from 8-30 May, are part of efforts to break the chains of transmission, by reducing interactions amongst social circles and at the workplace. They 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, added MOH. 

The measures were announced by the multi-ministry taskforce on COVID-19 at a virtual media briefing on Tuesday (4 May) as the MOH confirmed 17 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, including five local cases in the community, taking the country's total case count to 61,252.

It is the ninth consecutive day with local cases reported.

There are now a total of 40 cases connected to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster, including one fatality. An 88-year-old patient who stayed at the hospital's Ward 9D died due to complications from COVID-19 on Saturday.

Speaking at a multi-ministerial taskforce on COVID-19 conference on Tuesday, taskforce co-chair and Education Minister Lawrence Wong said the MTF would never rule out tighter safe management measures, or even a possible return to a Circuit Breaker.

"Based on the assessment of the situation, based on where we think we are today, the clusters that have formed, the cases that we have seen, we think these measures that will bring us all the way back to Phase Two are already a very strong pre-emptive move that potentially, if we do it well, can arrest and snuff out the hidden cases in our midst," he said.

Reduced attendance at churches, funerals

Event sizes and/or event size caps beyond which pre-event testing is required will also be lowered from 8-30 May: 

  • Congregational and other worship services: pre-event testing will now be required if there are more than 100 attendees at any one time, capped at 250 attendees. Congregational singing will also be suspended in religious organisations.

  • Weddings: Pre-event testing will be required for the wedding couple for solemnisations involving more than 50 attendees. Marriage solemnisations and receptions may proceed with up to 250 attendees in total. Pre-event testing will also be required for wedding receptions involving more than 50 attendees.

  • Funerals. Attendees on the day of the burial/ cremation will be limited to no more than 30 persons, down from 50 persons currently. The cap for other days of the wake remains at 30 attendees at any one time. 

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

  • Live performances at designated venues, pilot business-to-business events: the maximum number of attendees allowed 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.

  • Museums and public libraries: operating capacity will be reduced from 65 per cent to 50 per cent.

  • Tours: the maximum tour size offered by tour operators and tourist guides will be reduced from 50 attendees to 20 attendees.

Meanwhile, indoor gymnasiums and indoor fitness/ health studios, which are considered higher-risk settings will close. 

Outdoor organised exercise programmes/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 persons and a three metre distance between each group.

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