Six things youth should know about Singapore’s new COVID-19 measures
You can now dine-in in groups of two.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) previously announced that Singapore will progressively ease some of its COVID-19 measures.
Since the announcement, there has been an increase in community cases over the last seven days – there were 94 locally transmitted cases in the past week, as compared to the 41 cases in the previous week.
As such, MOH announced that some Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) measures will be tightened on Friday (Jun 18).
Here are six things you should know about the new COVID-19 measures.
1. No change to social gathering sizes of five
The sizes of social gatherings will be increased to five people, but only groups of two people can sit together when dining-in is resumed from Monday (Jun 21) onwards.
Members of the same household can continue to dine out at multiple tables and in groups of more than two people, whereas those from different households in groups of more than two cannot dine-in at the same restaurant, even in split tables.
Recorded music and other entertainment cannot be played at dining outlets as customers may talk loudly and increase the risk of transmission.
Group sizes for dining-in may be increased to five people by mid-July.
2. Work from home remains the default
Working from home will remain the default for employees. Similarly, employees who need to return to the office should have flexible working hours and cannot be cross-deployed to multiple worksites.
At work-related events, workplaces should not have social gatherings or serve food and beverages.
The government will offer support to employees and businesses that continue to be affected by the COVID-19 measures, including extending the Jobs Support Scheme to July and rental waivers for self-employed hawkers.
3. Mandatory testing for visitors to elderly residential care homes
Elderly residential care homes, which were closed to visitors from Jun 5 to Jun 20, will accept visitors from Monday (Jun 21) onwards – but visitors have to take a COVID-19 antigen rapid test (ART) first.
Visitors will have to take the Fast and Easy Test at the facility itself and test negative before being allowed entry. They should factor in the additional time needed to complete the ART test when scheduling visits with the home.
As some homes may need more time to implement the ART, they might only resume visits at a later date or start off with a smaller number of visitors.
4. Mandatory COVID-19 testing for employees in high-risk settings
Employees involved in higher-risk settings will have to undergo ARTs every 14 days.
Every two weeks, staff at these establishments will conduct self-swabs to test themselves for COVID-19. Their employers have to attend training programmes, where they can learn how to supervise the self-swabbing process.
5. No wedding receptions until mid-July
Wedding receptions, which were supposed to resume on Monday (Jun 21), will not be allowed until mid-July.
MOH tightened the measures for wedding receptions as they typically tend to be higher-risk activities that involve socialising over a long period of time.
6. Those taking COVID-19 tests must isolate until results
Potential cases who had visited a hotspot on the same day as suspected COVID-19 cases will have to take COVID-19 tests.
They will receive health alerts from MOH via SMS and proceed to take a COVID-19 test at designated testing centres. At the testing centres, they will also receive self-test kits, which they have to administer in the next few days to ensure they are not infected.
Until they receive their test results, they should isolate themselves by remaining at home.
Those who need to return to work will be allowed to do so, but they must strictly follow COVID-19 precautions at the workplace.