Reduced crowd sizes, stricter requirements for pre-event testing

Stricter rules for large events will take effect from Saturday until May 30, as Singapore tightens its Covid-19 measures to tackle the recent spike in cases here.

The maximum number of people allowed to attend live performances and business-to-business events will be reduced from 750 to 250, with pre-event testing required if the number of participants exceeds 100. Similarly, congregational and other worship services will have to implement pre-event testing for gatherings of more than 100 people. Services are still capped at 250 people, and singing will no longer be allowed.

Wedding solemnisations of up to 250 attendees - including the couple, but excluding the solemniser and vendors - may proceed, with guests split into zones of 50. But pre-event testing will be required for the wedding couple in gatherings of more than 50 people.

Likewise, wedding receptions with up to 250 people may continue in zones or time slots of up to 50 attendees each. But all such receptions of more than 50 people will have to implement pre-event testing for all attendees.

The authorities will not hesitate to impose even more stringent rules should new unlinked cases emerge or large clusters form in the coming weeks, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday at a press conference.

"For weddings, we are applying a slightly tighter restriction because in a wedding setting, the risks are higher," he added.

At funerals, the cap on attendees on the day of burial or cremation will be reduced from 50 to 30.

In addition, no spectators will be allowed at sports events and all mass participation sporting events will be suspended. Indoor gyms and fitness studios - deemed higher-risk settings - will also be closed.

Cinemas will have to introduce pre-event testing to take in more than 100 attendees. The cap of 250 people remains.

Lastly, the operating capacity of libraries and museums will be reduced from 65 per cent to 50 per cent, and the maximum tour size offered by tour operators and guides reduced from 50 to 20 attendees.

Asked about the upcoming Shangri-La Dialogue, which is scheduled to take place early next month, Mr Wong said the situation remains fluid and uncertain. "We are keeping in touch with all of the organisers, providing the latest information, and then likewise, the organisers in due course will have to consider the options available based on the latest situation."

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who along with Mr Wong co-chairs the task force tackling the pandemic, said Singapore has not ruled out the possibility of a second circuit breaker.

"Certainly, we hope that we won't get there and we must do what we can with this set of measures that we have just announced," he added. "With the cooperation and support of all Singaporeans, I think we probably will be able to avoid having to get to a circuit breaker situation."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2021, with the headline 'Reduced crowd sizes, stricter requirements for pre-event testing'. Subscribe