[Article has been updated on 7 July 2021]
Larger groups of five people can dine in together from next Monday (July 12), said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong who is also co-chair of the Covid-19 multi-ministerial task force.
This will be an increase from the current two per group, as Singapore eases measures and opens up further from a recent outbreak in community cases.
The easing of measures comes as the number of new Covid-19 community cases decreased from 86 the week before, to 28 in the past week as of Jul 5. The number of unlinked cases has also fallen in the past week.
The tighter rules that were implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 – including a ban on dining in and reducing the permissible size of group gatherings from five to two people – took effect from May 16 to June 13, and were then extended to June 20.
The measures were to reduce indoor transmission risks at settings where people do not have their masks on.
Weddings can resume; work-from home remains the default
Wedding receptions can also resume from Jul 12, with no more than 250 people allowed if pre-event testing is in place.
For wedding receptions with 50 people or fewer, only the wedding party will need to undergo pre-event testing.
At the workplace, employers should still continue to stagger start times and implement flexible working hours to reduce interaction within workplaces and on public transport, said MOH.
As for indoor high-intensity or mask-off sports and exercise activities, gyms and fitness studios can conduct these activities in group sizes of up to five people.
But entertainment services like live or recorded music and videos or shows on TV will still be prohibited to “reduce the expulsion of droplets” from people talking louder over the entertainment, the health ministry said.
Calibrated Covid-19 measures
Mr Wong had said in Parliament on Monday the latest round of outbreaks did not warrant an economy-wide circuit breaker like last year. Instead, the Covid-19 measures were calibrated based on the severity of the outbreaks.
“These additional measures have worked in curbing the spread of the virus, while allowing most parts of the economy to continue operating,” he said.
“So that is why we started to ease the restrictions from June 14, when we moved from phase 2 to phase 3 (heightened alert); and we expect to open up further from July 12 to allow larger groups of five people to dine together,” he added.
Mr Wong also said that the country is in a “much better position” to deal with the pandemic than at the start, with more robust public health defenses, including testing and contact tracing capabilities. There’s also been good progress in the vaccination drive.
Almost 40 per cent of Singapore’s population has been fully vaccinated and nearly 8000 doses are administered daily, said Mr Wong.
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Featured Image Credit: Ore Huiying via Getty Images
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