Singapore has moved to tighten Covid-19 restrictions to stem a spike in Covid-19 community cases, with social gatherings limited to two people and dining-in banned from May 16 until June 13.
Eateries and hawker centres will only offer takeaways and deliveries during this period to prevent the risk of transmission, said the Health Ministry on Friday (May 14). Households will also only be allowed to receive two distinct visitors a day, from five previously.
All attractions that have received prior approval to operate at 50 per cent capacity will have to reduce this to 25 per cent, while museums and public libraries will also operate at a reduced capacity of 25 per cent.
Indoor and outdoor shows may proceed with up to 100 people with pre-event testing implemented, or up to 50 people without testing. Attendance at cinemas will be capped at 100 people with pre-event testing, or up to 50 people without testing. The cap of two persons per group applies, and food and beverages cannot be sold or consumed in the cinema.
Working from home will remain the default at workplaces, and employers must ensure that staff who can work from home do so.
The stricter measures are in response to the Changi Airport cluster, which has become Singapore’s largest active Covid-19 cluster on Thursday (May 13), with a total of 46 cases confirmed.
Education minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, was quoted by The Straits Times as saying in a virtual press conference that stricter measures are necessary as there may be hidden cases among those who have recently visited Changi Airport that have leaked out into the community. He further noted that unlinked cases have also been on the rise.
Activities that will also be banned include strenuous indoor exercise classes and sports, as well as facials and saunas.
Weddings receptions will not be allowed, but solemnisations may continue for up to 100 people with pre-event testing, or 50 people without testing.
A lower cap of 50 people will also have to be observed at congregational and other worship services, with the cap going up to 100 people with pre-event testing implemented. Occupancy limits for malls and showrooms will also be reduced to 16m2 per person of gross floor area, from 10m2 per person previously.