Coronavirus: Events

No pre-event tests needed for those fully vaccinated

Those who got second dose at least 2 weeks before event to be exempted from April 24

People who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be exempted from pre-event tests for the coronavirus from April 24.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday that those exempted must have received the second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at least two weeks before the event. This would give them time to develop sufficient protection, MOH said.

The move to exempt vaccinated individuals from pre-event Covid-19 tests comes in tandem with an easing of restrictions to allow more people to attend certain events from April 24, should such tests be in place.

For example, wedding ceremonies with pre-event testing can host up to 250 attendees for the entire event, in zones or time slots of up to 50 attendees each.

Pre-event testing will not be required for weddings with 100 people or fewer.

Several other activities - marriage solemnisations, live performances, pilot business-to-business events and spectator sports events - will be able to scale up as well with pre-event testing.

Such tests will have to be done before the start of the event, and within 24 hours before the end of the attendees' participation.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who co-chairs the task force combating the Covid-19 outbreak, said during a press conference yesterday that the task force will continue to explore broader guidelines for what vaccinated individuals can do.

This comes as Singapore vaccinates more of its residents.

Mr Gan said: "As more and more of us get vaccinated, we can look forward to further reopening."

Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force, said evidence worldwide has shown that vaccination can protect the vaccinated person as well as reduce the risk of transmission.

He added that Singapore will look at guidelines for vaccinated people in terms of social activities, interactions and for travel.

"We are not able to share anything at this present time, but clearly the direction is towards more flexibility for those who are vaccinated," said Mr Wong.

"So we would strongly encourage everyone in Singapore to make an appointment for the vaccine when you have the opportunity to do so."

Mr Gan also reiterated that adhering to safe management measures remains key to ensuring safe reopening. "This is true even for those who are vaccinated," he said.

"So let us remain vigilant and socially responsible. Together, we can continue to keep one another safe."

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said businesses can now apply to organise pilot business-to-business events in two formats, following the announcements on eased restrictions yesterday.

Organisers who put in place pre-event Covid-19 tests will be able to host events with up to 750 attendees from April 24.

Meanwhile, those who do not have pre-event testing can host events with up to 250 attendees at a time.

Attendees will have to be divided into groups of 50 per zone in both scenarios.

STB said that almost 60 events - drawing a total of more than 7,000 attendees - have been held in Singapore since last July.

These did not lead to any reported Covid-19 cases, it added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2021, with the headline 'No pre-event tests needed for those fully vaccinated'. Subscribe