The ‘rule of five’ for gatherings in Phase Two following the circuit breaker will also be applied to walkabouts leading up to the next General Election, which may be held as early as next month, following ground movements of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) grassroots and recent resignations of various high-profile personnel.
“In terms of activities, we’ve highlighted if you’re out and about, then the rule of five would apply. So you can go out with your friends to exercise, to go on a walk, then up to five people, but not more than that, and all must wear masks,” said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
Mr Wong was responding to a query on guidelines for walkabouts in the event that the next GE will be held in Phase Two.
He added — in response to a question on the election time frame and how the reopening of economies and society could affect campaigning — that election guidelines are “put together separately by the Elections Department”.
“So, this can happen in phase two, it may happen in phase three, no one will know the exact timing at this stage, but should the election be called, the Elections Department will certainly explain what the precautions, safeguards and campaign guidelines entail.
“So that’s not for this task force to answer,” said Mr Wong.
ELD cannot “prematurely” announce the rules and regulations relating to the next GE as these may be “overtaken by events”: Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing
While the next GE must be held by 14 April next year, recent comments by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing have hinted at a possible election during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite objections from opposition parties and segments of the public based on health and safety concerns.
Workers’ Party and Singapore Democratic Party have asked for clarity in the election campaign rules and fair access to the electorate in the coming GE in light of the ongoing social-distancing measures for COVID-19.
ELD said that it will “share the guidelines with political parties and candidates” as soon as it has “some clarity”.
“Certainly it will not be later than the day of the Writ (of Election), so that will still give enough time for candidates and political parties to plan their campaigning strategies,” it said, adding that this would be the “worst-case scenario”.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said last month that ELD cannot “prematurely” announce the rules and regulations relating to the next GE as these may be “overtaken by events”.
Based on the last few elections, the opposition parties and candidates had around a week to prepare after the dissolution of Parliament before Nomination Day. The nine days of campaigning typically followed suit until Polling Day.
Check your voter status online at Elections Department website
Citizens whose names were struck off the Register of Electors for failing to vote in a previous election can apply to restore their names to register by submitting an application to the ELD via its website.
Applications for restoration to the register of electors will not be processed once the writ of election is issued until Polling Day
According to the ED’s voter rolls last year, which were open for public inspection in April, there were over 2.59 million people registered to vote in Singapore, about 80,000 more than the previous year.