SINGAPORE - All live performances here, whether in theatres, concerts or even street busking, may return in full with the easing of Covid-19 safe management measures.
The National Arts Council (NAC) said in a statement on Tuesday (March 29) that there will no longer be restrictions on the number of performers and crew or unmasked performers in a production.
Singers and wind musicians will also no longer need to conduct additional antigen rapid tests before performances. But all staff will need to comply with the Ministry of Manpower’s workplace vaccination rules that only fully vaccinated individuals or those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past 180 days can return to the workplace.
Indoor venues can welcome up to 1,000 audience members at full capacity. More than 1,000 audience members will be allowed at bigger venues, as long as the capacity is at 75 per cent. They must be masked and fully vaccinated.
Similarly, museums and heritage institutions can admit up to 1,000 visitors or 75 per cent capacity for larger venues.
Audiences at outdoor venues may also be unmasked if distances of at least 1m are kept between groups.
Live performances can also resume in other venues. This means musicians and singers can return to live gigs at food and beverage establishments, while buskers can perform unmasked, with social distancing, in outdoor settings.
There will no longer be size limits for arts classes in mask-on indoor settings and vaccination-differentiated safe management measure classes. Under Phase 2 heightened alert, enrichment classes were limited to a maximum of 50 people per class in groups of up to five.
NAC also announced a new busking e-service portal that will offer buskers greater access to locations and time slots.
Arts groups were quick to respond. Theatre company The Necessary Stage added tickets for Opposition, its last production at its Marine Parade Community Club home, which were promptly snapped up.
General manager Melissa Lim, 45, welcomed the relaxation of rules. She said: “This means the world to us, particularly since Opposition is the final production to be staged at our black box theatre, and we are grateful to be able to have more people experience the magic of our space one last time.”
Ms Rachelle Tan, the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay’s director of venues and planning, hailed the new measures as “positive moves towards progressive recovery for the arts sector”.
The arts centre can now accommodate about 1,200 people in the Concert Hall for programmes such as Beautiful Sunday and Mosaic Music Series and 1,400 in the Theatre for National Theatre Live screenings. This is a big increase from the previous limit of 500 to 600 people per venue. The new Singtel Waterfront Theatre that opens later this year will now be able to run at full capacity of 600 audience members.
Ms Tan added: “We look forward to welcoming more people to Esplanade to enjoy our programmes and having more arts hirers and promoters resume their presentations at our venues.”