Coronavirus Singapore

Higher capacity limit for worship services, cinemas, conferences

Up to 500 attendees will be allowed if all are vaccinated, up from current cap of 100

From next Tuesday, worship services, cinemas, live performances, business conferences and marriage solemnisations will be able to host up to 500 people if all are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

This is up from the current limit of 100 attendees, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, with pre-event testing required.

Should the Covid-19 situation remain under control, these event sizes and capacity limits will be raised further to 1,000 vaccinated people from Aug 19.

Likewise, the operating capacity at shopping malls and public venues such as museums, libraries, attractions and cruises will be raised from Aug 19 if all goes to plan.

The easing of restrictions, announced at a press conference yesterday, is part of a road map towards reopening the economy and transitioning to the new normal of "a Covid-19 resilient nation".

The increased event sizes and capacity limits will also apply to people who have recovered from Covid-19, as well as those who test negative for the virus 24 hours before the expected end of the event.

Otherwise, without pre-event testing, congregational and worship services, cinemas, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, as well as live performances, can have up to only 50 attendees.

This is already the case now.

From next Tuesday, singing while unmasked and the playing of wind instruments at live performances and worship services can resume for those who are vaccinated, subject to prevailing safe management measures, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

More details will be given by the National Arts Council and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

In cinemas, food and beverages may be served to groups of five if all customers are vaccinated.

Meanwhile, marriage solemnisations in external venues will also be allowed to have up to 500 vaccinated attendees from next Tuesday, and 1,000 from Aug 19. This includes the wedding couple, but excludes solemnisers and vendors.

Without pre-event testing, only 50 attendees will be allowed.

At wedding receptions, up to 250 vaccinated people will be allowed from next Tuesday, with groups of up to five per table. This limit will remain unchanged after Aug 19.

The authorities have previously said that wedding receptions are higher-risk events as attendees tend to socialise more and over a longer time.

MOH said unvaccinated children aged 12 or younger may be included in a group of five at these events and settings if they are from the same household. For large-scale events, the number of children will be capped at 20 per cent of the actual event size, MOH added.

From Aug 19, the operating capacity of museums, public libraries, attractions and cruises will increase from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

Occupancy limits for shopping malls and showrooms will also go up, with the rule changed from 16 sq m of gross floor area per person to 10 sq m per person.

This is all part of a "preparatory stage" that is expected to last for a month, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday.

By early next month, 80 per cent of Singapore's population is expected to be fully vaccinated.

Provided the Covid-19 situation remains stable, Singapore will then move on to a "transition stage" and the authorities will consider allowing larger event sizes, larger wedding receptions and larger group sizes, and easing border controls.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2021, with the headline 'Higher capacity limit for worship services, cinemas, conferences'. Subscribe