Singapore’s Ministry of Health has set in place stricter distancing measures that will now require all events and gatherings with 250 or more attendees to be suspended between now and June 30, 2020.
The announcement came yesterday evening, and is an expansion of the previous requirement for ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events to be limited to fewer than 250 participants.
For events and gatherings with fewer than 250 attendees, organisers and event venue operators must implement necessary precautionary measures to ensure separation of at least a metre between participants, such as through spaced seatings and reduced social interactions. Other required measures include improving ventilation and advising participants to reduce contact with others; putting in place temperature and health screening measures, and turning away persons who are unwell; and facilitating contact tracing, such as obtaining contact details of participants.
Operators of public venues will need to ensure separation of at least a metre between patrons.
Companies are also urged to defer non-critical events and scale down critical work events to allow no more than 250 participants at any point in time and put in place measures to ensure physical separation.
The latest set of restrictions are made in tandem with Singapore’s efforts to tighten her borders, and to quarantine and ring-fence infection clusters to suppress the spread of COVID-19.
At press time, Singapore has 254 active cases, of which 190 are imported and 238 are in stable condition.
The city-state has stopped short of a complete shutdown of her borders. Yesterday, national development minister Lawrence Wong has also put paid to rumours about an impending lockdown this weekend.
Within hours of the announcement, the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS) issued a circular, urging members “to be fully appraised of these latest set of enhanced precautionary measures and adhere to the advisory immediately”.
Similarly, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has also issued guidelines to help tourism stakeholders make sense of the ministry’s latest order.
STB makes it clear that STB non-compliant tourism stakeholders will be reported to the relevant regulatory authority for appropriate action, and may be struck off access to government grants and loan assistance.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s main convention and exhibition venues remain open.