Limited visits to parents or grandparents to be allowed from June 2 after circuit breaker

The same limit of up to two visitors from one household each day also applies. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans will be allowed to visit their parents or grandparents from June 2, but with some restrictions in place.

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday (May 19) said each household can receive up to only two visitors once a day. The visitors must come from the same household.

As part of this policy, dropping off children at parents' and grandparents' homes for childcare will also be allowed. This comes on top of existing provisions for informal childcare arrangements for essential workers.

The same limit of up to two visitors from one household each day also applies, the ministry said.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said there will be some flexibility for households to visit their parents, in-laws and grandparents after the circuit breaker ends on June 1.

However, siblings will not be allowed to visit one another.

Mr Gan said the limit of allowing only one household to visit their elderly family members once a day is meant to avoid having big family gatherings take place.

"I know this is very restrictive and there'll will be a lot of appeals and a lot of angst among the children, because everyone wants to see your parents and visit your grandparents all at the same time... We want to avoid having this gathering of people at the senior's house," he said.

Seniors should not leave their houses to visit family members, he added during a virtual press conference, encouraging them to continue staying home.

"You should not leave your home and visit your children and hop from household to household. This will increase exposure unnecessarily to a risk of infection," said Mr Gan, who co-chairs the multi-ministry taskforce handling the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that there will be exceptions for seniors who do not have children, and appeals can be made for siblings or nieces and nephews to visit them.

"Seniors are a particularly vulnerable group and we must continue to take precautions to protect them," he said.

Asked how these rules would be enforced, the minister acknowledged that it would not be easy to do so.

He urged people instead to focus on and abide by the spirit of these rules and regulations, which is the protect the seniors in their family.

Should there be complaints from neighbours about incidents of big gatherings, action will have to be taken, he added.

Senior citizens will still not be able to take part in senior-centric activities such as group exercises and karaoke sessions for now as such activities will continue to be suspended.

However, senior activity centres will gradually resume some activities, to cater to the psychological well-being of seniors with little or no social support otherwise.

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Community-based centre services for persons with disabilities will also gradually re-open with safe distancing measures in place.

Any necessary activities will be held in smaller groups while persons with medical conditions are encouraged to stay home and receive home-based support, said MOH.

Staff will continue to take necessary precautions such as wearing masks, maintaining good personal hygiene and ensure regular cleaning of activity equipment and shared spaces.

The multi-ministry task force also outlined the easing of restrictions in various sectors on Tuesday.

Marriage solemnisations will also be allowed to take place in person again, with up to 10 people present.

Places of worship can also reopen for private worship, with up to five members from the same household praying at a time.

No congregational services will be allowed, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

He said religious leaders across all faiths are being briefed on the requirements for the first phase of the reopening of places of worship.

Bigger groups could be allowed to gather when Singapore moves to the subsequent phases of reopening the country, added Mr Wong, who also co-chairs the multi-ministry task force.

Families can continue to gather for wakes and funerals, limited to a maximum of 10 people at one time.

Other non-essential activities and social gatherings will remain prohibited, so as not to bring together more people living in different households, said MOH.

Sports and recreation facilities remain closed, it added.

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