Singapore to Ease Covid-19 Restrictions Next Week

Under Phase 3 of the Lion City’s reopening plan, up to eight visitors are allowed inside homes and tourist attractions will get to operate at 65 percent capacity.

The prayer hall at Singapore’s historic Sultan Mosque. (Photo: Siti Rahmanah Mat Daud/Unsplash)

While other Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, and Thailand are now grappling with a resurgence of Covid-19 within their borders, Singapore is set to move into Phase 3 of its reopening plan on Monday, December 28. Restrictions on social gatherings will be relaxed just in time for New Year’s Eve, with permitted group sizes in both public and private settings raised from five to eight, although vulnerable members of society are still advised to stay at home as much as possible.

Congregational worship services will be able to host up to 250 people, with services conducted in zones of 50 people each. Religious rites and gatherings at places of worship can have elements of live performances, with a limited number of singers and wind and other instruments allowed so long as safety measures are in place.

Singapore is also increasing occupancy limits at malls and large standalone stores from 10 square meters per person to eight square meters per person, while tourist attractions can apply to the Singapore Tourism Board to raise their maximum operating capacity from 50 percent to 65 percent.

Up to 10 people will be permitted to attend a marriage solemnization, and live instrumental music (except for wind instruments) are allowed for specific activities, such as funerals and the exchange of marriage vows. Meanwhile, indoor live performances will be subject to the same rules as congregational worship services. The Singaporean government also plans to pilot live music performances in outdoor venues with audiences of no more than 250 people, split into zones of 50 each.

In related news, Singapore has recently announced that it will create a dedicated “bubble” facility beside Changi Airport to allow in-person business meetings with travelers from all countries in specially designed rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass dividers. The government plans to accept applications from the middle of January 2021, with short-term business visitors able to stay up to two weeks without undergoing mandatory quarantine. Covid-19 tests will be conducted on each traveler before the trip and upon arrival, as well as during the third, fifth, seventh, and eleventh days of their stay in the Lion City.

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