More people allowed at marriage solemnisations, wakes from Aug 4 as MOH eases Covid-19 limits

Wedding receptions with up to 50 people will be allowed from Aug 4, 2020. ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN

SINGAPORE - Marriage solemnisations, wakes and funerals can be attended by more guests from Aug 4, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (July 30).

Since the beginning of phase two on June 19, marriage solemnisations have been allowed to take place with up to 20 people, excluding the solemniser.

But from Aug 4, this will be expanded to 50 people, including the couple getting married, said MOH.

The new figure excludes the solemniser and vendor staff for the event but MOH said they should be kept to a minimum. This will apply to venues such as places of worship, common areas of housing blocks and other external venues.

Guests should be split into fixed groups of up to five people each, with no intermingling or mixing between groups, and a 1m safe distance maintained between groups. But a designated "wedding party" group comprising up to 20 people, including the bride and groom, is allowed.

While up to 20 people may be present at any one time for wakes and funerals currently, up to 30 may be present from Aug 4.

MOH said that this would facilitate more family members and friends paying their last respects.

In addition, the ministry will launch a pilot where each wedding couple will also be allowed to hold one wedding reception, with up to 50 attendees - including the couple - for the entire duration of the event, in venues that are permitted to serve food and drinks like hotels and restaurants.

The ministry said it is exploring the possibility of expanding the list to include more venues such as common areas in public housing estates.

Through this pilot, the multi-ministry taskforce handling the pandemic here will assess the ability of the organisers and venue owners to ensure that safe management measures are put in place and adhered to. The pilot will also inform the taskforce's subsequent decisions on the easing of measure for such events, said MOH.

However, solemnisations at home, the Registry of Civil and Muslim Marriages Building, and designated areas at the National Museum of Singapore operated by the marriage registry will continue to take place with up to 10 people - including the couple, but excluding the solemniser and vendors - as these venues tend to be smaller.

Other wedding-related activities including customary rites and ceremonies will have to adhere to prevailing gathering size limits of up to five visitors to each household, or up to five people in a group outside the home.

All the changes in guest limits are subject to the event venues' capacity limits based on safe management principles. Prevailing safe management measures must also be strictly adhered to, said the ministry.

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