If you thought safe management measures were going to be removed, think again.
Singapore will be simplifying and standardising our COVID-19 rules, which will help everyone have a clearer idea of what you shouldn’t do.
Here are all the details.
Current COVID-19 Situation in Singapore
You might remember how Singapore was going to streamline the rules earlier, but was postponed after a surge in COVID-19 cases. So why did the government decide to resume this now?
One major reason is that the Omicron wave has likely peaked and the number of cases is falling. The weekly infection growth rate was at 0.93, which means that cases are decreasing and expected to halve in about a month.
But wait, there’s more good news: the Ministry of Health expects the rate to decrease further in the near future. And if the pandemic situation change, restrictions could be tightened or relaxed.
More motivation for everyone to follow the rules to get the relaxed restrictions we want.
There are also plans to ease the pressure on hospitals, like transferring about 470 patients every day to COVID-19 treatment facilities or private hospitals. This comes after normal hospital wards and emergency departments remain overloaded, despite a drop in cases.
Overall, the pandemic seems to be taking a turn for the better, which is why we’re doing the streamlining now.
Not an Easing of Rules, Just Making Them Easier to Understand
Before we go into the changes, keep in mind that these changes do not mean there’s an easing of rules. Everyone is still expected to exercise social responsibility.
In fact, these changes are to make the rules easier to understand, so that everyone can better exercise social responsibility. “I don’t understand the rules” will now be a void excuse.
Without further ado, here are the simplified set of rules that’ll be in place from 15 March.
Households Can Receive 5 Visitors At Any One Time
Previously, households can only receive up to five visitors per day.
However, you can now invite as many friends as you want to your place, as long as only five of them are in the house at any one time. After the group of five leaves, you can invite another group of five in.
Safe Distancing Not Needed With Masks On
Your group of five are encouraged, but don’t actually need, to be 1m apart from each other if your masks are on.
However, in settings where masks are removed like while eating and drinking, everyone will still have to be 1m apart.
Workplace Social Gatherings of Up To 5, Can Cross-Deploy Staff
Social butterflies, this is your cue to rejoice. Social gatherings of up to five people will be allowed to take place in the office. And yes, the rule about mask-off social distancing also applies here.
Firms can also cross-deploy staff now, so you might not be stuck in the same office every day now.
Oh, and speaking of not being stuck in the same place…
Team Sports of Up To 30 People May Resume
Given that there’s no concrete evidence of infections from contact while playing sports, we’ll be able to play team sports again.
Team sports of up to 30 people will be allowed to resume at supervised venues, like ActiveSG venues or approved private ones.
The 30 people include players, coaches and umpires as well. Participants should be fully vaccinated, and are encouraged to self-test before playing.
Specific Size Limits Lifted, Changed to 50% Limit
There’ll no longer be different size limits for different types of events. Instead, the event will be allowed to host as many people as the venue can hold.
However, for larger events where there are more than 1,000 people, a 50% capacity limit will be imposed. This applies to attractions, cruises, major work events, performing arts venues and sports stadiums.
As for shopping malls and large standalone stores, the limit will remain at 10 square meters per person of gross floor area, if there are more than 1,000 visitors.
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Rules for Migrant Workers Eased
Currently, only 3,000 vaccinated migrant workers can visit public places each weekday, and 6,000 on weekends and public holidays.
This will be increased to 15,000 and 30,000 respectively.
VTL or Low-Risk Travellers No Longer Need Supervised ART, Changed To Unsupervised
Those arriving in Singapore through the Vaccinated Travel Lanes, or those coming from low-risk places, will no longer need to do supervised antigen rapid tests (ARTs).
Instead, they’ll only need to do an unsupervised ART within 24 hours.
This signals a gradual easing of our border measures, where fully vaccinated travellers will not need approval to enter Singapore and only undergo simple testing procedures.
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