Dining-in at F&B establishments will be suspended and group sizes for social gatherings will be reduced from five to two, as Singapore returns to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) to stem a surge in Covid-19 community cases.
The tightened measures will kick in from Thursday (July 22) until August 18 and will supersede those that were introduced on July 19, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release. It added that a review of the measures will be done two weeks after implementation, and will be adjusted further based on the infection situation at that time.
Both indoor and outdoor dine-in F&B establishments, including hawker centres and food courts, will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery options. The number of distinct visitors per household per day will also be capped at two, from the current five.
The Covid-19 multi-ministerial task force decided not to differentiate the measures for those who are fully vaccinated, but will consider doing so when vaccination rates are higher or when the situation has stabilised, a Channel NewsAsia report quoted task force co-chair Gan Kim Yong as having said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Work-from-home will continue to be the default at workplaces, and employers must ensure that employees who are able to work from home do so, said MOH.
Strenuous indoor exercise classes, or strenuous individual and group indoor sports and exercise activities, will also have to cease.
Event sizes will also be scaled down and event size caps will be reduced “to minimise the likelihood of large cluster formations”, said MOH.
For live performances and MICE events, up to 100 persons may be allowed with pre-event testing, and up to 50 persons without testing. For spectator and participatory sports events, up to 100 persons may be allowed with testing. Testing would not be required if there are 50 persons or less.
Attractions will be required to reduce their operating capacity to 25 per cent from the current 50 per cent. Indoor and outdoor shows may proceed with up to 100 persons with testing, and up to 50 persons without testing.
Museums and public libraries will be allowed to operate at a reduced capacity of 25 per cent.
Cinema halls may accommodate up to 100 persons with testing, and up to 50 persons without testing. The prevailing group size of two applies, and food and beverages may not be sold or consumed in the cinema.
The multi-ministry task force had earlier announced a tightening of community measures under Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) from July 19 to August 8, in response to growing Covid-19 clusters at KTV lounges and nightclubs. Since then, more clusters linked to a wholesale fish market and hawker food centres have emerged.
MOH said that unlike the KTV cluster, the current wave of infection affects a wider spectrum of the population including many seniors.
“At the current rate of transmission, it is likely that infection cases will rise sharply, and many people in the community will catch the virus. While close to 50 per cent of the population have completed their vaccination regimen, there remains a number of vulnerable individuals, such as our seniors, who have yet to take up vaccination,” the ministry said.
“Unvaccinated individuals are at higher risk of being infected, and higher risk of being seriously ill if infected. Hence, in the meantime, we must act decisively to contain the current outbreak and minimise the risk of our hospital capacity being overwhelmed, while we race ahead to vaccinate those who have not completed or started their vaccination.”
According to MOH, Singapore remains on track to having two-thirds of its population complete the vaccination regimen by National Day.