askST: Am I allowed to visit my friends during the CNY period?

People are advised to limit visits to at most two other households daily. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - From Tuesday (Jan 26), every household will have a cap of eight visitors each day, as part of enhanced Covid-19 restrictions to minimise contact between people and lower the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.

Q: Am I allowed to visit my friends during the Chinese New Year period?

A: Yes. However, it is advised that you limit your visits to at most two other households daily, and stick to visiting or hosting family members as much as possible.

To keep your loved ones safe, you can "connect digitally" with your friends and family members, such as through phone or video calls, and gift them e-hongbaos through banking and e-payment apps, instead of physical ones.

Q: What does having eight distinct visitors mean?

A: This means that you are only allowed to host a maximum of eight different people at your home each day. Previously, people were allowed to host eight visitors at any point in time.

Q: Can I invite people over in groups of four, or host two or more families at the same time?

A: Yes, you can, as long as the total number of visitors per day does not exceed eight.

Q: How long can I visit my family or friends for?

A: There are no restrictions on the duration of visits or the number of visits to the same household. However, you are advised to reduce social interactions as much as possible, and to bear in mind that increased exposure and interactions could potentially put others and yourself at risk of infection.

Q: Why is there a stricter limit of eight visitors per day?

A: Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force handling the Covid-19 pandemic, said last Friday (Jan 22) that the likelihood of more social activities and interactions during the Chinese New Year period could increase the risk of transmission, especially with three community clusters forming since phase three of reopening started on Dec 28.

He pointed out that Singapore saw a spike in Covid-19 cases after Chinese New Year last year, with many clusters linked to festive gatherings. These included the large cluster of 47 cases linked to a dinner at Safra Jurong, as well as a family get-together in Mei Hwan Drive which saw nine infections.

Q: Can I have a reunion dinner with my family or friends at a restaurant?

A: Yes, you can. However, multiple-table bookings for large groups of more than eight are still not permitted. The same applies for those with large extended families.

An exception can be made for large families of the same household, but intermingling between tables will not be allowed. There will also be stricter enforcement checks at food and beverage establishments to ensure that customers and businesses continue to adhere to these measures.

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