Churches cancel on-site services on Sun., May 16 as tightened measures kick in

Others had already suspended on-site services when the previous round of tightened measures were announced on May 4. 

Nigel Chua | May 15, 2021, 12:00 PM

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The maximum capacity for congregational and other worship services will soon be reduced due to tightened measures, as Singapore enters "Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)", prompting some churches to cancel physical services.

Services may continue with a reduced capacity of 50 attendees at any one time without Pre-Event Testing (PET), or with up to 100 attendees at any one time with PET implemented.

Religious workers and all other participants must wear their masks at all times. Live singing and playing of wind instruments will also be suspended during this period of tightened measures from May 16 to Jun. 13, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) on Covid-19 announced in a press release on Friday (May 14).

Some churches cancel on-site services on May 16

Some churches responded to the news by cancelling on-site services on Sunday, May 16.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore announced that physical masses this Sunday would be cancelled, as the Catholic churches would need time to implement the revised measures.

Due to the reduced capacity at each service, those who had booked Masses are also required to make new bookings to attend Masses from May 17 to 31.

Thus, a Mass re-booking exercise will take place on Sunday, May 16, with the booking times for various churches spread out among three timeslots: 9am, 12pm, and 3pm.

Similarly, Wesley Methodist Church announced that on-site services were cancelled for the coming weekend, with the exception of its Saturday service, which will take place on May 15, before the new restrictions kick in.

This is to give its teams "time to plan and make necessary adjustments", the church said on its website.

Other churches suspend on-site services indefinitely

Meanwhile, other churches announced the suspension of on-site services indefinitely.

St Andrew's Cathedral announced on May 14 that it would suspend all on-site services from May 15 onwards, explaining via a Facebook post that this was "to protect our members from any risk of infection and also to stand with our nation to break the new cycle of transmission."

Others, including Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) had already suspended on-site services since the previous round of tightened measures were announced on May 4.

Scaling down event size to minimise cluster formation

The MTF explained that scaling down events is being done to minimise the likelihood of large cluster formations.

Other measures taking effect from May 16 include the following:

  • Social gatherings limited to two persons, down from five.
  • Dining in no longer allowed, F&B establishments can only offer takeaway and delivery options.
  • Most indoor mask-off activities to be banned.
  • Work-from-home to be the default mode for workers.
  • Stricter capacity limits at public places such as cinemas, museums, libraries, as well as at weddings and funerals.

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Top photo from Cathedral of the Good Shepherd Facebook page