Arts and sports sectors in S'pore to receive additional support amid tightened Covid-19 measures

The arts sector will also be able to tap on the Arts and Culture Resilience Package. PHOTO: ESPLANADE

SINGAPORE - The arts and sports sectors in Singapore will receive more support amid tighter curbs to stem the rise in Covid-19 infections.

In a release on Saturday (May 15), the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said that for the arts sector, it will be subsidising costs of pre-event testing for arts and culture companies presenting permitted live performances from May 16 to June 13.

More details on how those affected may apply for the support will be released by the National Arts Council.

The arts sector will also be able to tap on the Arts and Culture Resilience Package, which has been topped up over the past year to $75 million.

The package funds operating grants, venue-hire subsidies, assistance to self-employed people and assistance to support the transformation of businesses.

For the sports sector, relief measures recently announced by Sport Singapore (SportSG) that were initially for up to May 30 will now be extended to June 13.

These measures include project grants, operating grants, training assistance grants and direct cash assistance for those affected.

SportSG is also looking into the provision of more outdoor spaces within its ActiveSG facilities for coaches and instructors to conduct their classes.

Details on how to apply for these spaces will be announced to the community when ready, it said.

The release also summarised the key measures that will affect MCCY sectors:

- All indoor and outdoor live performances should be deferred, although live performances that have been publicised before May 5 and scheduled to take place from May 8 to June 13 may proceed with approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

- Recording of digital productions and their associated rehearsals are limited to 15 performers and crew on stage and backstage at any given time.

- All speakers, participants and instructors in arts and culture classes, lectures, talks and workshops must be properly masked at all times. Activities that cannot be conducted with masks on must be suspended.

- Classes in singing, or wind and brass instruments, are to be suspended.

- Arts and heritage venues may continue operations at a reduced capacity of 25 per cent.

- Only non-strenuous activities can continue in all indoor sports venues, and participants must be masked at all times.

- Indoor and outdoor group classes are capped at 30 people (including the instructor), or the venue capacity cap, whichever is lower. All individuals must remain masked at all times. Participants must be in groups of no more than two, with 2m between individuals, and 3m between groups.

- Outdoor strenuous activities that require participants to be unmasked will be capped at two people, including the instructor.

- Congregational and other worship services will be limited to 100 people with pre-event testing, or up to 50 people at a time without the testing.

- Worshippers can participate in worship services in groups of no more than two people. Masks must be worn at all times by all, including when speaking during congregational and other worship services.

- Singing and the playing of wind/brass instruments will not be allowed. There should also be no sharing of prayer or common items.

- Wedding solemnisations may continue, with up to 100 people with pre-event testing, or up to 50 people without the testing, subject to venue capacity limits.

- Wedding receptions will not be allowed.

- Funerals, wakes, burial/cremations, installation of niches and post-funeral rites at places of worship can involve not more than 20 attendees at any time, subject to venue capacity limits. Attendees should be organised in groups of no more than two people.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong in a Facebook post on Saturday said sectors under his ministry have been hit "doubly hard" by the new measures, but they are necessary.

"This is a time to look after not just lives, but also livelihoods," he said.

"We know that many businesses have been affected. I discussed with my Cabinet colleagues - what could we do to help cushion the impact, defray the cost of overheads and help our people see through this period."

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