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Singapore tightens COVID-19 rules from May 8, social gathering group size limited to five

Authorities did not rule out a return to the circuit breaker as it reintroduces several Phase 2 measures.

Nigel Chin
Nigel Chin

Started writing for the passion. Now writing because it’s the only thing I can do.


Published: 4 May 2021, 7:26 PM

Social gatherings will be limited to groups of five again, down from the current eight, as authorities in Singapore tighten the COVID-19 rules from May 8 to 30. 

Similarly, only five household visitors will be allowed during the period, as Singapore tries to clamp down on the recent surge in the number of community cases

People are also advised to keep to a maximum of two social gatherings a day, said the Ministry of Health on Tuesday (May 4). 

Other measures include pre-event COVID-19 testing for worship services, cinemas and live performances with more than 100 attendees, while capacity will be reduced for attractions, libraries and tours. 

Indoor gymnasiums and fitness studios will be required to close from May 8 to 30, as they have been identified as “higher-risk settings”. 

“These are small enclosed spaces where people are frequently unmasked while exercising, and in close proximity with many other unmasked people,” said MOH.

However, organised outdoor exercise programmes and classes may continue, subject to a class size of 30. 

“This includes group sizes of up to 5 persons and a 3-metre distance between each group,” said MOH.

The number of employees allowed to return to the office have been reduced to 50 per cent, from the current limit of 75 per cent. Social gatherings should be avoided too. 

Trace-Together only SafeEntry at higher-risk venues will be implemented earlier from May 17 as well.

Mr Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force for COVID-19, urged people to scale back on their activities as much as possible immediately, even though the tightened measures only take effect from Saturday. 

“This is not a circuit breaker. We certainly hope not to have to invoke another circuit breaker,” said Mr Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force for COVID-19.

Authorities, however, have not ruled out a possible return to the circuit breaker – which was introduced last year from April to June too. 

“If new unlinked cases continue to emerge in the coming days and weeks, then certainly, we will not hesitate to take even more stringent measures, even the possibility of having to enter another circuit breaker down the road,” Mr Wong said.

“But let’s try to avoid that scenario, and let’s all do our part.”


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