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Work-from-home will also be the default from May 16 to June 13

The Ministry of Health has officially announced that Singapore will move into Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from May 16 to June 13. This means that more stringent rules and regulations such as the reduction of group sizes and the suspension of dining-in will be put into place. 

Related: Singapore Returns to Phase 2: New Covid-19 Social Distancing Rules You Need to Know

The new rules were announced in a multi-ministry task force press conference that took place on May 14 by Minister for Education Lawrence Wong and comes on the heels of Singapore reporting 12 active Covid-19 clusters.

Singapore also saw 24 new community cases of Covid-19 on May 13. This is the highest number of daily community cases recorded since July 11, 2020.

Read on to find out what you can and cannot do under the new rules and regulations. 

Related: Covid-19 Singapore: Everything We Know About the Changi Airport Cluster So Far

1. Group gatherings have been reduced from five to two people

On May 4, following a significant uptick of community Covid-19 cases, the Government announced that they would be reducing group sizes from eight to five people. 

However, under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), this has been reduced to just two people.

Mr Wong said at the press conference: "This will apply across the board, so if you want to go out for anything, grocery shopping, exercise, maximum of two persons henceforth."

If you are visiting someone's home, take note that the reduced group size will also apply and that you are only allowed to have two distinct visitors per household per day. This is down from five distinct visitors. 

The exception to this is only for grandchildren being cared for by their grandparents on a daily basis. These children will not count towards the cap on the number of visitors or the cap on the number of social gatherings per day.

The rules will come into effect on May 16. However, the government is urging residents to stay at home as much as possible and to only go out for essential reasons. 

Related: Compulsory Use of Tracetogether-Only Safeentry Brought Forward to May 17

2. Dining-in has been suspended

All dining-in at food establishments will be suspended as well. This includes hawker centres and food courts and will comprise both indoor and outdoor seating. 

Mr Wong said: “All dining-in will have to cease … All F&B establishments will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery options."

Related: Phase 2 Dining in Singapore: How Restaurants That Opened in the Middle of a Pandemic Have Adapted

3. Working from home will become the default

Under Phase 2, the government strongly encouraged workplaces to allow their employees to work from home if they were able to. However, under the heightened alert, working from home will become the default. 

“All employees who are able to work from home will have to do so. Work-from-home will be the default,” said Mr Wong.  

4. Event sizes will be further scaled down

At the multi-ministry task force press conference, it was announced that event sizes will be further reduced. 

Currently, events are allowed to have 100 attendees without the need for pre-event testing. They are allowed to have 250 attendees if there is testing. This will be scaled down to 50 and 100 attendees respectively. 

This will apply to congregational and other worship services, meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (mice) activities.

The operating capacity of attractions that have received prior approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry will also be reduced to 25 per cent. This is down from the current 50 per cent. 

Museums and public libraries will also be operating at a reduced capacity of 20 per cent. Indoor and outdoor shows, however, will be allowed to proceed with up to 100 people with pre-event testing and up to 50 without testing. 

Related: Covid-19 Singapore: Everything We Know About the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Cluster So Far

5. Weddings will be affected

All wedding banquets will have to cease because it counts as a dining activity.

While marriage solemnisation will be allowed to go on as planned, they will see "a cap of 50 and 100 attendees without and with pre-event testing respectively." according to the press release. 

Mr Wong added that he sympathised with couples who may have made wedding plans this coming Sunday and acknowledged the difficult position they were in. For affected couples, he said, the Government is “prepared to consider grandfathering the arrangement for couples who have already made plans for Sunday. They can proceed, but we will require them to put in place pre-event testing for all their guests. But this is a special arrangement only for this Sunday because this is a once in a lifetime event for the wedding couples.” 

Related: Small and Intimate Wedding Venues That are Perfect for Singapore’s Covid-19 Regulations

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