SINGAPORE - Indoor, mask-off sports and exercise activities will be allowed to take place in groups of five - up from two currently - at gyms and fitness studios from Monday (July 12) as more Covid-19 measures are relaxed, the multi-ministry taskforce said on Wednesday (July 7).
The cap for indoor and outdoor classes will also increase from 30 to 50 people, including the instructor. Sport Singapore will release more details, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
While those in the fitness industry welcomed the increase in numbers, they stressed that it is still far from a return to normalcy.
True Group director Sean Tan said the new measures were “yet another step towards the new normal”, but noted that they do not significantly increase the capacity for the company’s 12 gyms, which are designed to accommodate 300 to 700 people at any one time.
Tan, who is also the Singapore Fitness Alliance president, said: “We look forward to a further easing of measures at the end of July – hopefully not just that group sizes can be increased to eight, but that the maximum capacity for gyms and studios can be doubled at least.”
Indoor, mask-off activities were allowed to resume in groups of two from June 12 as the second stage of the economy's reopening began. These activities had been suspended since May 8 following the introduction of stricter Covid-19 measures.
But some gym owners like Samuel Lim of Crossfit outfit Fire City have seen a dip in numbers after the recent incident involving a 16-year-old male who suffered a cardiac arrest six days after receiving his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The teenager collapsed at home after a weightlifting session earlier at the gym, prompting MOH to issue an updated advisory on Monday stating that strenuous activities should be avoided after both doses of the vaccine.
As a result, Mr Lim has had clients cancel their appointments this week as they are taking their vaccinations.
The 39-year-old said: “Although we all want it to be rainbows and butterflies, the matter of fact is that on the ground, there are so many things we are worried about.
“But safety comes first. At the end of the day, we also don’t want anything to happen.”
All staff who work at gyms and fitness studios where clients are unmasked will also be placed on a regular 14-day Fast and Easy Tests (FET) regimen, which will be made mandatory from July 15.
Mr Lim was unable to get a slot for FET training in the past week as they were all booked out and is hoping to do so before next week. He has already received the antigen rapid test (ART) kits.
The easing of measures will also see up to 250 fans allowed into Singapore Premier League match venues when the competition resumes on July 17, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said in a media statement on Wednesday.
But fans will only be admitted into venues with proof of a negative test result for those who are not fully vaccinated.
They must produce a negative Covid-19 test result, which can be either the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test or Antigen Rapid Test (ART). Either the PCR or ART test result will be valid within 24 hours from the time an individual registers to take it.
Those who have received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccines may be admitted without a negative Covid-19 test result.
However, vaccinated persons will only be allowed in for matches if their second dose was received at least 14 days prior.