The Straits Times says

A welcome return for NDP celebrations

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The annual National Day Parade (NDP) is, arguably, Singapore's chief secular festival. The resumption of full public participation at this year's NDP at the Marina Bay floating platform should thus elicit a collective sigh of relief after two years of smaller-scale celebrations necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic. The NDP organising committee is targeting the upper bounds of the venue's capacity of 25,000 to 26,000 in what is a sign of confidence in Singapore's return to a new normality in the wake of Covid-19. The "new" in that normality will be reflected in all performers being vaccinated. The prevailing national policy at the time the parade is held will determine whether all spectators, too, must be inoculated.

Indeed, plans for NDP 2022 will depend on any later changes to Covid-19 restrictions - which is to be expected, particularly as the Government has warned that a next wave of the disease could hit next month or in August. However, the hope is that epidemiological conditions do not worsen between now and then to the extent that it affects an event which is synonymous with the annual commemoration of Singapore's independence on Aug 9, 1965. Covid-19 played havoc with Singapore's everyday life, putting out of reach many social activities that residents had taken for granted. The NDP was one casualty of the viral assault that hit a range of activities here. It is no mean feat to have emerged and be in a good position now to resume and stage events that mark a key date of the national calendar.

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