In a press conference on Friday (May 14), the Multi-ministry Taskforce (MTF) on Covid-19 announced further restrictions on social gatherings in Singapore, following an increase in Covid-19 cases in the community in the past two weeks.
Starting May 16 until Jun. 13, social gatherings will be limited to a maximum of two people, and dining in at food and beverage (F&B) venues will no longer be allowed.
This is the first time since Phase 2 began on Jun. 19, 2020 that dining in has been disallowed and social gatherings have been limited to fewer than five people.
Dining in not allowed
The emerging pattern of unlinked local community cases is worrying, as it suggests that there may be unknown cases in the community with possible ongoing community transmission, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press release.
To reduce risk of community transmission, particularly in settings where people's masks are off, indoor "mask-off" activities will also be disallowed during the period between May 16 and Jun. 13.
One such activity that will be prohibited is dining in at F&B establishments, as they are higher-risk settings where customers often dine for prolonged periods in close proximity with each other, with their masks off.
Both indoor and outdoor dine-in F&B establishments, including hawker centres and food courts, will only be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery options.
Group size decreased from 5 pax to 2 pax
The unlinked local cases also suggest that the government's earlier measures, such as the reduction of social group sizes from eight to five which was implemented on May 8, may be insufficient.
Thus, with effect from Sunday, May 16 through Sunday, Jun. 13, permissible group sizes will be further reduced from five people to two people.
There will also be a cap of two distinct visitors per household per day, down from five distinct visitors.
Individuals should continue to limit their overall number of social gatherings to no more than two per day, whether to another household or meeting with family and friends in a public place.
Grandparents who take care of grandchildren not counted
However, to allow families' current childcare arrangements to continue, grandchildren who are being cared for by their grandparents on a daily basis will not be counted towards the cap of two distinct visitors per household, or to the number of social gatherings per day.
Grandparents are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against Covid-19, in order to protect both themselves and their grandchildren from Covid-19 infection.
To reduce the risk of transmission, grandparents should also minimise intermingling between grandchildren from different households.
Other measures announced on May 14:
Top photo via Facebook / Clean & Green Singapore