Fully vaccinated seniors can participate in some People's Association classes, activities from Monday

Seniors who have recovered from Covid-19 will also be allowed to participate in the programmes. PHOTO: EDWIN TONG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Those aged 60 and above and are fully vaccinated may participate in selected People's Association (PA) classes and activities, such as line dance and chair yoga, from next Monday (Nov 1).

The PA said on Friday that it will pilot the resumption of selected programmes, following a progressive suspension since March last year, for seniors to have a safe environment to stay healthy and active, and renew social bonds.

Seniors who have recovered from Covid-19 will also be allowed to participate in the programmes.

But those who are not fully vaccinated will not be able to do so, even with negative pre-event testing results, to prevent seniors from getting infected, said PA.

The programmes include pastel art painting, recreational folk dance, qigong, as well as watching movies and concerts.

They will be held at 21 community clubs or centres (CCs) and integrated community hubs, in open-air settings or well-ventilated facilities, and are subject to safe management measures.

For instance, indoor mask-off classes can have up to 30 people, with a group size of no more than two.

But up to 50 people are allowed for mask-on indoor activities, as well as mask-on and -off outdoor activities, with the same group size conditions.

Seniors must also produce a negative antigen rapid test result for mask-off activities, such as exercises and those with movement between locations, such as walking tours.

However, high-risk classes such as indoor mask-off programmes like singing, wind and brass instruments, and vocal and speech training, will not be resumed.

Classes with shared equipment, such as karaoke singing classes, mahjong and chess clubs, will also not resume.

PA said that some seniors find it hard to be confined at home, or have not met their loved ones for some time.

It added: "Seniors have also shared with our staff and volunteers that it has become increasingly lonely to stay home. They hope that social activities can be resumed soon so that they can reconnect with their friends and maintain mental health and well-being."

PA deputy chairman Edwin Tong, who is also Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said that seniors are going through a tough time during Covid-19.

He added: "While many seniors are participating in PA's virtual classes, it is not the same to be out and about, doing their favourite things and seeing their friends and neighbours in a social setting.

"We have taken into account the emotional needs of our seniors and the higher vaccination and booster rates among our seniors."

PA said it will closely monitor the participation rate and the Covid-19 situation before deciding if the initiative will be expanded to include more activities, or extended to other CCs or community spaces.

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