Household visitors capped at 8 per day from Jan. 26

New restrictions.

Andrew Koay | January 22, 2021, 06:25 PM

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From Jan. 26, 2021, onwards homes in Singapore can only entertain a maximum of eight visitors per day; the current restrictions allow for eight visitors at any one time.

According to the new restrictions, individuals should also limit themselves to visiting at most two other households a day, as much as possible.

The restrictions — announced on Jan. 22 in the lead up to Chinese New Year — comes as new clusters have emerged in the community.

Individuals have also been advised to limit themselves to visiting two other households a day at most.

No changes have been made to social gatherings outside the home; they remain at a maximum group size of eight.

However, the Ministry of Health (MOH) advised everyone to keep their social circles small and avoid mixing with multiple social groups.

Reducing interactions during Chinese New Year

At a Jan. 22  press conference held by the Multi-ministry Taskforce on Covid-19 (MTF), Minister for Education and Taskforce co-chair Lawrence Wong cited the clusters that emerged from 2020's Chinese New Year celebrations in explaining their decision.

"We don't want a repeat of that happening," he said.

Wong said that the previous rule of eight visitors at any one time was "okay for normal circumstances, because under normal circumstances you will not have so many people visiting your home".

"But I think for Chinese New Year this potentially will cause difficulties."

Wong also urged the public not to "try and optimise your maximum gain around the rules."

"In the end, you're putting yourself and your loved ones at risk," he said.

"So we, again, appeal to everyone understand the principle and underlying reasons, and rationale for these rules. It is to reduce interactions."

When asked how the new rule regarding eight visitors per day would be enforced, Wong acknowledged it would not be easy.

He said that Enforcement Officers will do random spot checks, and there is also the possibility that neighbours may call to report these infractions.

Complacency and clusters

Addressing the recent spate in community infections, Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong, who also co-chairs the taskforce, said the increase was "expected" as Singapore opened up.

In the past week there was an average of three community cases a day, he said.

"But beyond the numbers, what is worrying is that these cases and clusters reflect a certain degree of complacency."

"Among the community cases in the past two weeks, about three quarters of them were symptomatic," added Gan.

"Yet half of them had not sought medical treatment after they have experienced symptoms and some continue to go to work and intermingle within the community."

He explained that the MTF had decided to "calibrate the pace and scale at which certain activities in the community can resume."

Top image by John T via Unsplash 

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