COVID-19: Singapore set to shop, dine and mingle again Friday

Pre-COVID times at Lau Pa Sat. Image: Ethan Hu
Pre-COVID times at Lau Pa Sat. Image: Ethan Hu

Singaporeans can shop and dine in from Friday onward, after most businesses and social activities are allowed to resume, at least for groups no larger than five.

Part of the second phase of lifting restrictions on commerce and movement, physical outlets of retail businesses may reopen with larger venues such as malls subject to capacity limits, 

Singapore’s COVID-19 task force announced yesterday, citing the “generally stable” caseload outside of the migrant worker community.

“By limiting close contact among individuals, while maintaining hygiene and safe management principles, we will be able to resume more activities without substantially raising the risk of new clusters of infections,” the Health Ministry announced.

Dining in at food and beverage outlets will be allowed to resume but limited to five people per table, with sales and consumption of liquor ceasing at 10:30pm. Live music as well as television and video screenings will not be allowed.

While life swings back toward normal across much of the island, the coronavirus continues to spread among migrant workers. Singapore logged 214 new cases yesterday, 211 of which involved residents in worker housing.

Social gatherings of up to five people can resume, with up to five visitors at a time for households.

Sports, parks, and other public facilities such as stadiums, swimming pools, playgrounds, beaches, lawns and fields, hard courts, gyms, fitness studios, bowling centers, and function rooms can reopen, including those at condominiums and clubs.

Personal health and wellness and home-based services including massages and spas, and registered clubs and societies will also be allowed to resume. 

All other healthcare services including elder care, health screening, and aesthetic services may resume with safe distancing measures. 

Face-to-face visits to long term care facilities including nursing homes, welfare homes, sheltered homes, and adult disability homes are also allowed.

School campuses will reopen for students of all levels. Tuition and other private enrichment classes except singing or voice training classes can resume.

The number of people present at wakes and funerals will be increased to 20 people, up from 10 previously. 

Up to 10 people are allowed at home weddings and at the Registry of Marriages or Registry of Muslim Marriages, 20 at other venues excluding the solemnizer.

Singaporeans will have to wait longer until the third phase for the reopening of religious services and congregations, large cultural venues such as libraries and museums, large-scale events (conferences, exhibitions, concerts), and entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, and attractions.

Telecommuting for work should still remain the default for all businesses where possible.

Other stories to check out:
Singaporeans can expect to eat out, hit the gym, shop by end-June
Singapore’s lockdown exit plan shows long way to go for bars, cinemas
‘Bored’ expat reconnects patrons to Singapore’s shuttered bars
Film fans throw lifeline to struggling indie cinema The Projector

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