S'pore cancels all events with 250 or more participants due to Covid-19 fears

Cancel culture in Singapore for real.

Belmont Lay| March 21, 12:19 AM

All events and gatherings in Singapore with 250 or more participants in attendance at any one time must be suspended, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Friday, March 20.

This is to reduce the risk of further local transmission of Covid-19 and an expansion of the previous requirement for ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events to be limited to fewer than 250 participants.

The requirement goes into effect immediately until June 30, the multi-ministry task force tackling the outbreak said.

It also applies to all kinds of gatherings, including F&B outlets, religious events, public entertainment venues, meetings, conferences, and exhibitions.

Private gatherings such as weddings and parties ought to also comply with these guideline.

Rationale for cancellation

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force to tackle the spread of Covid-19, said: "These are a range of very stringent, safe distancing measures which we're putting in place and they are quite far-reaching."

"We cannot continue with business-as-usual activities."

He added: "It will lead to some inconvenience, but we also need Singaporeans to cooperate and take responsibility for these changes."

Precautionary measures must also be implemented to ensure safe distancing among those congregated.

MOH said: "For events and gatherings with fewer than 250 participants, organisers and event venue operators are required to implement the necessary precautionary measures to ensure separation of at least a metre between participants."

These measures include spaced seating at events and reduced mingling of participants such as during meal times.

Events and gatherings must also comply with the existing guidance, which includes:

  • Improving ventilation and advising participants to reduce contact with others;
  • Putting in place temperature and health screening measures, and turning away people who are unwell, and
  • Putting in place measures to facilitate contact tracing if needed, such as obtaining contact details of participants.

After the authorities studied the pattern of transmission among locally transmitted cases, they found that many were infected during events and social gatherings, as well as interactions between colleagues at workplaces.

The 1 metre safe distancing measures have also been proposed and are to be implemented.