SINGAPORE - In-camp training for operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) has been deferred and the individual physical proficiency test (IPPT) and other fitness training for them have been suspended with immediate effect until June 13, said the Ministry of Defence on Tuesday (May 18).
These measures are meant to safeguard the health and well-being of servicemen, and maintain operational readiness amid the evolving Covid-19 outbreak, it added in a statement.
The announcement comes after more stringent curbs on activities were imposed from Sunday (May 16) for a month, including a ban on dining in and reduction of social group sizes to two, after Covid-19 cases in the community increased in recent weeks.
Only in-camp training that is deemed essential for operations will continue, said Mindef.
Fitness conditioning centres (FCCs) will be closed and the conduct of IPPT and NS Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) at FCCs, Safra gyms and public locations has been suspended.
Checks by The Straits Times found that for NS FIT and IPPT, only sessions after June 13 are available for booking.
Large-scale events will be cancelled, deferred or reduced in size, Mindef added.
But activities that are critical for the build-up of operational units will continue with stringent safe management measures in place, it said.
The ministry said the vaccination programme for Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel is making steady progress, with the majority of active forces expected to be vaccinated by the middle of the year.
"As an added precaution, the SAF had also introduced swab tests for servicemen who enlist in May, as well as their trainers, to ensure that Basic Military Training can be conducted safely. These measures will continue," Mindef said.
"The SAF will continue to monitor the evolving Covid-19 situation and review the measures in place to keep our servicemen safe."
In April last year, in-camp training and IPPT were also deferred as Singapore implemented the circuit breaker, during which most workplaces were closed, dining in was banned, and schools moved to home-based learning.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Sunday that IPPT and other fitness training for NSmen will be suspended for this period of heightened alert, although in-camp training will continue as its NSmen provide or support essential services.
Training that is critical to operations – such as basic courses and ground response forces training – will continue, along with training for regulars and full-time national servicemen that is important for maintaining operational readiness, the ministry added.
All other training will either be moved online, or deferred till after June 13, it said.