Public urged to have no more than 2 social gatherings a day as Singapore tightens measures

Singaporeans have been urged to have no more than two social gatherings a day, as part of tightened measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the community following a spike in new cases.

Other new measures, which will be in place for two weeks, will impact malls, outdoor barbecue pits and campsites and attractions, with details as follows:

- Malls and large standalone stores: Occupancy limit reduced to one person per 10 sqm of gross floor area, down from one person per 8 sqm.

- Popular malls (Lucky Plaza, Peninsula Plaza): Odd and even date entry restrictions on Sundays will be reinstated.

- Outdoor barbecue pits and campsites: These will be closed to the public, including barbecue pits in parks, Housing Board estates, condominiums and country clubs.

- Attractions: From May 7 to May 14, all attractions that received prior approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry to operate at 65 per cent of their operating capacity will have to reduce this to 50 per cent.

These measures will be implemented from May 1 through May 14, unless otherwise stated. More details will be released later.

Addressing reporters at a press conference on Friday (April 30), Education Minister Lawrence Wong said individuals should restrict social gatherings to two per day in total, whether to another household or in a public place, and the limit of no more than eight people per gathering remains.

Employers should also allow staff to work from home as far as possible, and social gatherings in the workplace should be avoided. The public sector will take the lead in this regard, he added.

Public agencies working in the Novena area near Tan Tock Seng Hospital such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore will be asking their staff to work from home where possible to lower the risk of the virus spreading, said the Health Ministry.

Mr Wong acknowledged that the restrictions would create inconvenience, especially given several public holidays coming up in May, but urged Singaporeans to cooperate and scale back their social activities.

This is the only way to slow the spread of the virus in the community, he said, adding that Singaporeans should also be mentally prepared that further tightening may take place should the situation worsen.

The minister reiterated that Singapore’s economic reopening would encounter “bumps along the way”.

“We are now encountering one such bump,” he said, but added that the country is now better equipped to deal with this problem. “I am confident we can get through this bump and get back on track towards our path of reopening the economy.”

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