From April 26, there will no longer be any more limits to group sizes or workplace capacities. Masks will also no longer be mandatory in workplaces and TraceTogether and SafeEntry check-ins will be reduced in what is one of the biggest easings of restrictions that Singapore has seen in the last two years.
Singapore will also finally adjust its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) level from Orange to Yellow from April 26. The Dorscon levels give an indication of the current disease situation in a country and was raised to Orange on February 7, 2020.
The “time is right” to lower it to Yellow, said co-chair of the task force Gan Kim Yong at a press conference.
“Under Dorscon Yellow, each of us must continue to comply with the safe management measures and exercise social responsibility. This means that if you are unwell, we should really stay home. We must also maintain good personal hygiene and adhere to health advisories,” said Mr Gan.
Under the new regulations, safe distancing will no longer be required between individuals or between groups, according to the multi-ministry task force on April 22. This means that you no longer need to keep to a group size of 10 for mask-off activities.
The cap on the number of unique visitors per household will similarly be lifted, said co-chair of the task force Lawrence Wong.
The capacity limit of 75 per cent for mask-on events with more than 1,000 people will also be removed, wrote the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release.
That said, mask-wearing will continue to be required in indoor settings and on public transport. It will continue to remain optional when outdoors, according to Mr Wong.
Employees will now be allowed to remove their masks at their workplace when they are not interacting physically with others and when they are not in customer-facing areas, “notwithstanding the mask-on requirement in indoor settings”, said MOH.
“While this concession will provide some flexibility for workers as more return to the workplace, everyone is advised to exercise social responsibility and maintain an appropriate safe distance from others while unmasked,” MOH said.
It added that all employees will be able to return to the workplace from April 26, an increase from the current limit of 75 per cent of those who can work from home.
“Even with these changes, we encourage employers to retain and promote flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and staggered work hours, as a permanent feature of the workplace. Beyond the workplace benefits of flexible work arrangements, this will also help workers avoid peak period crowds as more of us return to the workplace,” said MOH.
Additionally, SafeEntry and TraceTogether check-ins are no longer required except at events with over 500 people and certain nightlife establishments.
Vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) will also be eased in line with this announcement. From April 26, VDS will be removed from all settings except for events with more than 500 participants at any one time, nightlife establishments where patrons dance, and food and beverage outlets. Authorities will also stop issuing health risk notices (HRN).
“As we stand down VDS for various settings such as malls, supermarkets, places of worship …venue owners can deactivate their SafeEntry operations,” said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung at the virtual press conference.
“However, where VDS still applies … SafeEntry check-in will still be required to verify the vaccination and test status of the participants,” he continued.
Mr Ong added that he expects the “new posture” to last for several months as long as the situation remains stable.