Covid-19 restrictions, visitor capacity in public libraries, National Archives to be relaxed

Time limits on visits to the National Library Board's facilities will be removed on weekdays.
Time limits on visits to the National Library Board's facilities will be removed on weekdays.ST PHOTO: MOHD KHALID BABA

SINGAPORE - Public libraries and the National Archives of Singapore can be half-full again from Monday (June 14), up from the 25 per cent cap on capacity that is currently in force as the country gradually eases social restrictions.

In-person programmes are also set to make a return, and time limits on visits to its facilities will be removed on weekdays, said the National Library Board (NLB) in a release on Friday (June 11).

Since May 16, the day Singapore began stricter social restrictions such as a ban on dining in and reduced social meeting group sizes from five to two, library visitors have been required to book time slots in libraries before visiting.

Visiting hours have been capped at one or two hours.

NLB said the relaxed measures would apply to its 26 public libraries, the National Library, National Archives of Singapore and the Former Ford Factory, which houses an exhibition on World War II run by the National Archives.

However, a timed entry system will continue to be in place on weekends in order to manage capacity, added NLB.

There will be a time limit of three hours per visit at Jurong, Tampines and Woodlands regional libraries, as well as the National Library, the study lounge at level 5 of the National Library Building and the National Archives of Singapore.

It will be two hours for all other public libraries, and one hour at the Former Ford Factory.

Physical programmes such as tours are also set to resume, with overall group sizes subject to the operating capacity of the venue and safe management measures, added NLB.

Audience capacity for film screenings at the Asian Film Archive's Oldham Theatre at level 3 of the National Archives of Singapore will increase from 33 to 50, added NLB.

It said that safe distancing measures will continue for seating in the theatre to limit intermingling between groups.

Digital programmes will still be available, however. More information can be found at this website.

NLB is also set to improve ventilation and indoor air quality at its venues, it said.

"Patrons who visit our facilities must wear their masks at all times and adhere to the capacity limits in our facilities," it added.