SINGAPORE - More Covid-19 safety measures will be eased from July 12 as the proportion of Singapore residents who have received at least one dose of a vaccine is expected to cross the two-third mark, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Wednesday (July 7).
Here are the key announcements.
From July 12:
1. Groups of five allowed to dine in
The cap on groups allowed to dine in at food and beverage (F&B) establishments will be raised from two currently to five next Monday.
This is in line with the current five-person cap on social gatherings.
MOH said dining in remains an activity that carries a higher risk because many people are unmasked and in close proximity with one another while doing so.
Entertainment at F&B establishments, such as live performances, recorded music and screening of videos, will continue to be prohibited to reduce the risk of transmission from patrons having to raise their voices to be heard while talking.
Other prevailing measures, such as social distancing between groups of diners and the need to keep masks on at all times except when eating or drinking, will remain in place.
2. Resumption of wedding receptions
Wedding receptions may resume from next Monday, with no more than 250 attendees allowed with pre-event testing.
For wedding receptions with 50 attendees or fewer, pre-event testing will be required for the wedding party only. The wedding party typically includes the couple and their bridesmaids or groomsmen.
Wedding receptions are considered higher-risk activities as attendees tend to socialise more and over a longer period of time, MOH said.
The ministry said attendees must continue to adhere to all other prevailing safe management measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
3. Cap on group sizes for indoor activities such as gyms raised to five
Gyms and fitness studios may conduct indoor sports and exercise activities in group sizes of up to five from next Monday, up from the current cap of two.
The cap on class sizes for both indoor and outdoor classes will also be raised to 50, including the instructor, or the capacity limit of the venue, whichever is lower.
Participants will continue to be limited to groups of five each. The current cap on class sizes is 30 people in groups of up to five.
MOH said SportSG will release more details on such activities soon.
4. Social gatherings at the workplace can resume
While working from home continues to remain the default arrangement, social and recreational gatherings at the workplace will be allowed from next Monday.
But they must be limited to a total size of no more than five people, in line with the broader community rules.
Other workplace measures remain in place. MOH said employers should implement flexible working hours and ensure employees who need to go to the workplace stagger their start times.
Cross-deployment of workers to different work sites is not allowed.
5. Jobs Support Scheme to be tapered to 10% for two weeks
As previously announced, financial support will continue to be extended to affected sectors for another two weeks, from July 12 to 25.
Businesses that will continue to receive 10 per cent wage support during this period include F&B establishments, gyms and fitness studios, retailers, cinemas, museums and art galleries, as well as those involved in performing arts, arts education, historical sites and family entertainment.
From July 15:
6. Mandatory, routine fast and easy tests for staff in higher-risk settings to start on July 15
"Fast and easy" Covid-19 tests using kits such as antigen rapid test (ART) kits have been progressively rolled out for staff in higher-risk settings over the past few weeks.
From next Thursday, this will be mandatory as a form of rostered routine testing for staff in establishments offering dining in, personal care services such as facial and nail services, or make-up services. This also applies to spas and saunas, massage establishments and hairdressing salons, as well as gyms and fitness studios where clients are unmasked.
The swab tests can be self-administered under employer supervision, or carried out at designated quick-test centres.
From July 16:
7. ART kits to be sold at supermarkets, convenience stores from July 16
ART kits have been available at designated pharmacies since June 16.
From next Friday, they will also be sold at more general retailers, like supermarkets and convenience stores.
The cap of 10 test kits per individual will also be lifted, allowing members of the public to buy as many as they need.
From July 21:
8. TraceTogether, SafeEntry requirements to be reintroduced in supermarkets
The requirement for all supermarkets to enforce TraceTogether-only SafeEntry and deploy SafeEntry Gateways to allow visitors to easily check in and out will be reintroduced from July 21.
Since May 17, check-ins have not been required at supermarkets located within malls or buildings with the same operating hours, as checking in is already enforced at the entrance to the building.
But MOH said the high volume of patrons in supermarkets increases the risk of transmission.
The reintroduction of the rule requirement will facilitate more targeted contact tracing for those who visited indoor buildings at the same time as an infected person, the ministry said.
Other standalone supermarkets that have been enforcing check-ins will continue to do so.
9. Further changes to come once half of population is fully vaccinated
Differentiated measures for people vaccinated under the national vaccination programme will be introduced when at least half of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Singapore is expected to cross this milestone around the end of July.
MOH said this will allow vaccinated people to participate in more activities. Some of the measures the ministry said it is considering include:
- Raising the caps on social gatherings and dining in to eight people;
- Raising the cap for large activities or venues like concerts and weddings to 500 people;
- Allowing more workers to return to the workplace, depending on the company's total percentage of vaccinated workers.