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From September 8, workplace social gatherings have been banned and individuals have been asked to limit their social gatherings to one a day

This story was first published on June 18, 2021, and updated on September 13, 2021. 

Singapore has recently seen a significant uptick of community cases with infections skyrocketing to over 500 cases in recent days. As a result, the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 announced new measures to keep the situation under control on September 6 and then continued to update their measures as the situation developed. 

See also: Covid-19 Booster Shots to Be Rolled Out to Those Aged 60 and Above From September 2021

This is in an attempt to buy Singapore more time to get more people vaccinated and to slow down the rate of transmission without us needing to go back to a state of heightened alert or a circuit breaker, according to Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19.

These new rules include limiting social gatherings to one a day, social gatherings at workplaces being cancelled and Health Risk Warnings and Alerts being introduced. In-person visits to residential care homes have also been suspended during this period. 

Considering the many changes in our Covid-19 regulations recently and the differences in rules for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, we’ve made it easy for you to figure out what you can and cannot do. Keep reading for all the other regulations that have come into effect to manage the pandemic. 

See also: Covid-19: How to Work Out Properly While Wearing Face Masks in Singapore

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In-person visits to residential care homes have been suspended

After a spike in Covid-19 cases among employees, clients and residents of residential care homes, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that all in-person visits to residential care homes will be suspended from September 13. 

“With the number of cases expected to continue to rise in the coming weeks, we need to take further action to protect the vulnerable seniors in these settings,” the ministry said. 

Visits will be suspended till October 11 so that more seniors can get vaccinated. Testing will also be stepped up for employees, residents and clients.

Residents of aged care facilities will also be invited to receive Covid-19 vaccine booster shots from September 14. 

See also: Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Shot: What You Should Know


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Social gatherings should be limited to one a day

MOH has strongly encouraged all individuals to reduce all non-essential social activities for the next two weeks.

Singapore residents should also limit their social circles to a smaller group of regular contacts and ensure that they only have one social gathering a day no matter if it is to another household or in a public place.

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Workplace social gathering are to be cancelled

Social gathering and social interactions at workplaces will no longer be allowed from September 8, according to MOH. 

“We have observed that the recent clusters in workplace settings have taken place because of lax safe management measures, especially in areas like staff canteens and pantries where people tend to let their guard down and interact amongst themselves without their masks on,” MOH said.

MOH also announced that should one or more of their workers contract Covid-19, employers will need to put in place a maximum Work-from-home (WFH) requirement over 14 days.

“This means that everyone in the company who can WFH will be required to do so. Those who are working from home should minimise social gatherings and leave their homes only for essential activities during this 14-day period,” MOH said.

Workers in more sectors such as public transport front-line staff and supermarket workers will also now have to go through mandatory routined testing.

Companies who are in sectors where mandatory testing is not a requirement will be given eight antigen rapid test (ART) kits per employee by the government to facilitate weekly testing of staff over a two-month period. 

This comes shortly after work-from-home requirements were eased on August 9 and up to 50 per cent of employees who can work from home were allowed to return to the workplace.

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Health risk warnings and alerts will be issued

To better manage Covid-19 clusters, health risk warnings (HRWs) and health risk alerts (HRAs) will be issued to individuals who have been exposed. 

These warnings differ from legal quarantine orders (QO). QOs are given to individuals who are suspected to be or are carriers of an infectious disease as well as those who are a contact of a person who is confirmed to have the disease. 

HRWs on the other hand require individuals by law to get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and to self-isolate until they receive a negative test result. 

They will also be required to do an antigen rapid test (ART) and a PCR test on the 14th day.

Those who receive an HRA are not subject to anything legally but are strongly encouraged to go for a PCR test as soon as they can. 

In addition to this, the possible exposure feature on the Tracetogether application has been removed to cater to the new categories of health alerts that MOH has created to manage the pandemic.

See also: DIY Covid-19 Test Kits Singapore: Here’s What You Need To Know

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Dining-in will resume and group sizes have been increased

From August 10, dining in was allowed to resume. However, you can only dine out in groups of up to five people if everyone in your group has been fully vaccinated. If you are vaccinated and dining at a hawker centre or a coffee shop, you will only be allowed to eat in groups of two.

If you are unvaccinated or not fully so, you will only be able to dine out in groups of two at hawker centres and coffee shops.

Unvaccinated people can only dine in at food and beverage establishments if they have a negative pre-event Covid-19 result from an approved test provider, clarified the Ministry of Health (MOH) on August 10.

Group sizes for the vaccinated have also been increased to five people. If you are unvaccinated, you will only be able to meet in groups of up to two people.

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Hospital visits will be resumed

On August 5, it was announced that visits to hospital wards would be suspended after more community cases involving hospital staff and patients were detected. 

This suspension was lifted on August 19. However, hospital visitors are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or be able to prove that they have tested negative for the virus before they will be allowed in for visitations. 

Even so, visitors are only allowed to stay for a maximum of 30 minutes regardless of their vaccination status, according to MOH.

Each patient is also only allowed to register up to two visitors per admission and they can only have up to two visits per day. Only one visitor is allowed at the patient’s bedside each time.

Of course, exceptions will be made on a conditional, case-by-case basis for patients who have life-threatening conditions, or who need additional support from caregivers. 

Unvaccinated visitors will also be assisted at the hospital’s discretion for patients with very urgent and life-threatening conditions. 

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Indoor, mask-off sports will resume

If you can’t wait to get back into activities at gyms and fitness studios, the good news is that indoor mask-off high-intensity activities will be capped at 30 people in groups of up to five provided that everyone in the group is fully vaccinated. 

Indoor mask-on activities and all outdoor activities will be capped at 50 people in groups of five no matter what your vaccination status is. 

See also: Covid-19: How to Work Out Properly While Wearing Face Masks in Singapore

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Wedding receptions and large-scale events will be allowed to have more attendees

If you are getting married soon, take note that, now, you are allowed to have up to 250 people in attendance provided that all people are vaccinated.

Group sizes will also continue to be limited to up to 5 people per table with no intermingling. 

For marriage solemnisations that take place outside the home or the Registry of Marriages, you can have up to 1000 people including the wedding couple. 

In addition to this, large-scale events can have up to 1000 attendees if all are vaccinated and 50 if they are not.

See also: Covid-19: Can Your Pet Contract the Virus? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Mandatory Safeentry check-ins will be imposed at markets

From July 19, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and town councils will be making Safeentry check-ins a requirement at markets to help with contact tracing and to ring-fence cases, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

This means that once a market has reached a certain number of people, other customers will not be able to enter it. 

See also: Mattel Creates Barbie Modelled After Sarah Gilbert, a British Covid-19 Vaccine Developer

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Checking out using SafeEntry Gateway boxes will be implemented

Currently, most places use Safeentry Gateway boxes to allow people to check-in easily by tapping their phones or TraceTogether tokens.

Over the coming weeks, boxes that allow people to check out will be introduced to enable more precise contact tracing.

These boxes will be placed at areas with higher footfall such as malls, hospitals, gyms and food and beverage establishments. If your business is eligible for this, you will be notified.

See also: Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane: What the Covid-19 Situation is Like in Germany, Brunei and More