SINGAPORE - Those engaging in physical activities outdoors will no longer need to don masks while doing so from Tuesday (March 29).
This was among a number of key changes to measures implemented in the fight against the pandemic, that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Thursday (March 24), as Singapore moves towards a new phase of living with Covid-19.
The changes mark a continued easing of measures involving sports and physical activities, which were last loosened from March 15.
Then, national agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) had announced an increase in group size limits for venue capacities and outdoor activities, which heralded the return of team sports at supervised sports facilities.
Masks, it added then, should be worn as a default and only taken off when performing strenuous activity, and must be put on immediately after the completion of high-intensity sporting and physical activities.
From Tuesday, however, this will change.
Those engaging in low-intensity physical activity, such as leisurely walks in parks for example, will no longer need to be masked.
Athletes will also no longer have to don masks immediately after their events or training sessions if they are held outdoors, as had been the practice in accordance with prevailing safe management measures.
The Straits Times has reached out to SportSG for more details.
Another key change announced by PM Lee was the capacity limit on events and settings that feature over 1,000 individuals. This now increases from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of a venue's capacity if all are masked.
For mask-off events, individuals or groups of people up to the prevailing group size will be required to comply with the one-metre safe distancing requirement.
This is likely to affect the local professional Singapore Premier League (SPL), which had only recently increased the number of spectators allowed at games.
On March 17, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) had announced an increase in the number of fans allowed at SPL games, from 1,000 to 50 per cent of each venue's capacity. This meant a cap of 3,000 for games at Jalan Besar Stadium, 2,500 at Our Tampines Hub and 1,500 for the Toa Payoh, Hougang and Jurong East Stadiums.
However, even with an expected further increase, it is understood that those attending games will still be required to be masked, given guidelines announced by the multi-ministry taskforce, which stated that masks are required for "activities which involve... cheering by audiences/spectators/participants".
ST has also reached out to the FAS for updates.