Starting from next Monday (21 June), dining in and indoor mask-off sports will be allowed to resume in group sizes of up to two persons, instead of up to five persons as previously announced, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (18 June).
This came after Finance Minister and multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) co-chair Lawrence Wong said on Wednesday that the MTF is “evaluating the timing and scope” of the next stage of Singapore’s reopening, given the recent rise in locally transmitted cases.
In a statement, MOH noted that the Ministry will concurrently onboard staff in these settings “as quickly as possible” onto regular Fast and Easy Tests (FET), starting with using antigen rapid tests (ART).
“In the coming weeks, we will build up the capacity for FET, and expect a regular FET regime to be in place for those working in these settings by around mid-July.
“Hence, barring another superspreader event or big cluster, we will allow such activities to increase to group sizes of up to 5 persons from mid-July 2021 (date to be announced later),” it stated.
MOH also noted that groups of more than two persons who are not from the same household will not be allowed to dine in together at eateries, even if they are split across multiple tables.
“F&B establishments are also reminded to strictly observe safe distancing of at least 1 metre between groups of diners, of no more than two persons per group, to lower the risk of transmission.
“Enforcement will be stepped up and we will take firmer enforcement action for any breaches of safe management measures. Patrons must keep their masks on at all times, except when eating or drinking,” it added.
To further reduce the risk of transmission from patrons talking loudly, recorded music will not be allowed in F&B establishments, MOH said.
This is on top of current restrictions on videos and TV screening, as well as live entertainment at these places.
Wedding receptions will remain prohibited until mid-July as these are higher-risk activities where attendees tend to socialise more and over a longer period of time, said MOH.
In addition, gyms and fitness studios are allowed to resume indoor mask-off sports activities in group sizes of up to two persons, and in classes of up to 30 persons including the instructor, with safe distancing of at least 2m between individuals and 3m between groups.
“For mask-on activities and outdoor mask-off activities, these can continue in groups of no more than 5 persons, in classes of up to 30 persons including the instructor. SportSG will release more details on this,” it noted.
Meanwhile, work-from-home will continue to remain the default arrangement, said MOH, highlighting that this is necessary to control transmission risks by reducing overall interaction within workplaces, and in public places including public transport.
“Employers are reminded to ensure the practice continues, and for employees that need to come to the workplace, to stagger their start times and implement flexible working hours. There should continue to be no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites,” it noted.