Given that the national COVID-19 vaccination programme has kicked off, all KTV centres as well as the Geylang nightlife can now be reopened, said Temasek CEO Ho Ching in a Facebook post on Tuesday (27 July).
Mdm Ho said that these places can be reopened provided that vaccination and testing are placed as key measures, in addition to other precautions like air sterilising and cleaning.
“Actually, with vaccination now available, we can re-open not just KTV but also the Geylang night life, with vaccination and testing as key measures, alongside other safety measures like air sterilising and cleaning,” she wrote.
As of 26 July, a total of 7,256,331 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme.
“The total number of doses administered was 7,256,331, covering 4,254,789 individuals. 3,122,180 individuals have completed the full vaccination regimen, consisting of 120,638 recovered persons who received at least one dose and 3,001,542 who received their second dose,” said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
In her post, Mdm Ho, who is also the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, also noted that the Government’s decision to move back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) was not due to the KTV cluster, but because of the Jurong Fishery Port (JFP) cluster.
“KTV cluster was not the reason for re-imposing P2(HA) circuit breaker restrictions. It was the JFP cluster with the likelihood of shooting into the community via hawker centres and markets,” she wrote.
Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) not due to KTV cluster
While delivering a Ministerial Statement in Parliament on Monday (26 July), Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam clarified that the reason behind Singapore’s Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) tightened restrictions was because of the JFP cluster, given that the authorities have managed to bring the KTV cluster under control fairly quickly.
“If we were facing only the KTV cluster, there would have been no need for any tightened measures. The tightening of measures is due to the cluster at the Jurong Fishery Port. It has spread from the ports to the market, hawkers, into the wider community,” said Mr Shanmugam.
“The KTV cluster has been brought under control fairly quickly – tracing, testing and ring-fencing the cases.”
Night venues closed since 26 March 2020
The Singapore authorities mandated back in March last year for all bars and entertainment venues like night clubs, discos, cinemas, theatres, and karaoke outlets to close, stating that such venues poses a high risk of transmission due to sustained close contact over a period of time.
This was announced together with a whole range of additional measures by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) on 24 March 2020. Other stricter measures announced were limiting gatherings outside of work and school to 10 persons or fewer, and ensuring that physical distancing of at least one metre can be achieved in settings where interactions are non-transient.
While it was said to be a temporarily closure, night clubs and karaoke outlets have remain closed for over 16 months, other than those which have pivoted under the F&B conversion scheme.
The mandatory closure also included the licensed brothels that operate in Geylang district.