Unvaccinated individuals will be barred from leisure hotel stays, indoor sports facilities from Feb. 1

To better protect the vulnerable and the at-risk groups.

Jane Zhang | December 14, 2021, 04:45 PM

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Beginning Feb. 1, Singapore's Vaccination-Differentiated Same Management Measures (VDS) will be expanded to cover more settings and activities.

The expansion of VDS is to "better protect the vulnerable and at-risk groups in our population, while allowing specific concessions for fully vaccinated individuals to return safely to the workplace", the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) said on Tuesday (Dec. 14).

VDS expanded to indoor sports facilities, IHLs, hotels

Since Dec. 1, VDS has been expanded to all libraries under the National Library Board (NLB) and selected activities in community clubs or centres under the People’s Association (PA).

From Feb. 1, 2022, VDS will be expanded to cover all indoor sports facilities, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), and leisure guests in hotels, hostels, and serviced apartments.

This means that only fully-vaccinated individuals or those who have a 180-day exemption due to being previously infected with Covid-19 will be able to enter these spaces.

However, students in IHLs who are completing their full-time NITEC/Higher NITEC, diploma, or degree programmes will be exempted from the VDS measures requirement when entering their own respective educational institutions.

More details on this will be released by the relevant agencies.

All events, no matter the size, must implement VDS

Also starting from Feb. 1, all events — regardless of event size — must implement VDS in order to proceed.

Currently, only events over 50 attendees are required to implement VDS.

"However," the MTF press release stated, "Even smaller-sized events can spark transmission that can then spread to wider groups of people, especially in view of the Omicron variant."

Events that will now require VDS, regardless of event size, include media conferences, work-related events, and funerary memorial events.

VDS+Test pilots have been successful

On Nov. 8, the MTF had announced that it was piloting a new vaccination-differentiated safe management measure and pre-activity testing (VDS+ART) regime for select activities, such as sports settings, selected mass sporting events, and MICE events.

This would allow for easing of safe management measures for fully-vaccinated individuals with a valid negative ART result on-site prior to the activity.

"These pilots have been successful thus far, given strong compliance and enforcement on the ground, and we will continue to expand these pilots where feasible."

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Top photos via ActiveSG and Marina Bay Sands.