Singapore tightens measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19 virus

The Multi-Ministry Taskforce has decided to enforce stricter measures that would limit gatherings outside of work and school to 10 persons or fewer, and ensure that physical distancing of at least one metre can be achieved in settings where interactions are non-transient. These measures will take effect from 26 March 2020, 2359 hours.  We expect these measures to be in place until 30 April 2020, but this may be extended if the situation does not improve. 

Entertainment Venues

All bars and entertainment venues like night clubs, discos, cinemas, theatres, and karaoke outlets, where there is a high risk of transmission due to sustained close contact over a period of time.

Other public venues such as retail malls, museums and attractions, where contact is more transient, may remain open. However, operators are to ensure the following:

a.   Reduce operating capacity within the venue at any one time, so that the venue does not have more than one person per 16 square metres of usable space. This is to significantly reduce the density of crowds in these venues, especially during peak periods.

b.            Groups must not exceed 10 persons. Shows within attractions (indoor and outdoor), group tours at the museums, and open atrium sales events1 will be suspended.

c.             Disperse congregations and provide an environment that allows at least one metre physical spacing between patrons. These include queues and waiting areas. Operators are encouraged to offer services by appointment or through digital services where possible, to minimise queues. Crowds should be quickly dispersed.  

Retail malls and attractions that are unable to adhere to these requirements must be closed. Additional penalties may be imposed on those which are found to have been a place of transmission of COVID-19, if the venues are found not to have adhered to these requirements.

Organised tours in public venues (e.g., sightseeing or guided walking tours) will be suspended.

Existing measures for food and beverage venues continue to apply. Other activities such as live music or karaoke which are likely to cause patrons to congregate will have to cease. Food and beverage outlets must set up their spaces (arrangement of tables and seating) to ensure separation of at least one metre between tables or different groups of diners.

•             Related diners (e.g. family members, couples) can be seated together at one table, but the tables must be spaced out.

•             Groups of diners should also be limited to 10 persons or fewer.

Patrons of eating establishments with fixed seating – for example, hawker centres and coffee shops – must use alternate seats. Premise managers should mark out seats to facilitate these arrangements. 

Tuition and Enrichment Centres

All centre-based tuition and enrichment classes will be suspended. This is to reduce the intermingling of students from different schools and enhance the safety of our students. 

Faith-based Activities

All religious services and congregations will be suspended. Places of worship (e.g. temples, mosques, churches) may remain open for private worship and essential rites, subject to group sizes of 10 persons or fewer at any one time.   

Events

All events and mass gatherings (e.g. conferences, exhibitions, festivals, concerts, sporting events, trade fairs) must be deferred or cancelled, regardless of size. This is a tightening of the previous requirement where all events and gatherings were to be limited to fewer than 250 participants.

Singaporeans are advised to avoid holding and participating in social events and gatherings involving more than 10 persons at any one time. These include private celebrations like birthdays and weddings. For funerals and wakes, attendance should be limited as far as possible to family members only, and gatherings of 10 or fewer people at any one point. Much as we understand the need for friends and acquaintances to pay their last respects and give comfort to families in their grief, we urge the public to do their part in minimising social interactions so that we can slow down the spread of the virus together. 

Workplaces

Existing measures for workplaces continue to apply. Employers should put in place measures to reduce close physical interactions amongst employees. Tele-conferencing should be used in place of physical meetings wherever possible. Where employees can perform their work by telecommuting from home, employers must ensure that they do so.

More details can be found at https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/tighter-measures-to-minimise-further-spread-of-covid-19