Non-compulsory safe distancing & 5 household visitors at any 1 time part of new simplified SMMs

Safe distancing will not be required between individuals or groups in all mask-on settings, although it is still encouraged.

Fasiha Nazren | February 16, 2022, 05:39 PM

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On Feb. 16, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced some updates on the community safe management measures (SMMs).

Simplified SMMs

The MTF has simplified and rationalised the Covid-19 rules, which it said have accumulated and become "overly complex".

The SMMs will be rationalised to focus on five most important and effective measures that will  make them simpler to understand and comply with:

  • Group sizes
  • Mask-wearing
  • Workplace requirements
  • Safe distancing
  • Capacity limits

These are the changes to SMMs that will take place:

Group sizes

The permissible group size for social gatherings remains at five persons.

From Feb. 25, 2022, the maximum number of unique visitors per household will be adjusted to five persons at any one time, from the current measure of five persons per day.

Workplace requirements

From Feb. 25, 2022, workplace requirements will now be aligned with those for the community SMMs, including:

  • Workers who have their masks on will not need to maintain one-metre safe distancing in the workplace.
  • Social gatherings at workplaces will be allowed to resume with up to five persons for each social gathering.
  • No restrictions on cross-deployment of employees across workplaces, although employers may continue to do so for business continuity reasons.

The government will continue to allow only up to 50 per cent of employees who can work from home to return to the office.

Safe distancing

From Feb. 25, 2022, safe distancing will not be required between individuals or groups in all mask-on settings, although safe distancing is still encouraged.

However, the safe distancing of one metre will continue to be required for all mask-off settings.

Capacity limits

MTF will also move to set event sizes based on the capacity of the venue instead of fixing size limits to various event types.

From Mar. 4, 2022, the MTF will lift specific event size limits for events such as religious services, business events, media conferences, funerary memorial events, wedding receptions and mask-on classes.

Zoning requirements will also be removed as the main protection is through masks and vaccinations.

As a precaution, capacity limits will be imposed for large events and settings which pose more infection risks.

Such events and settings include attractions, cruises, MICE and large work-related events, as well as large performing arts venues or sports stadiums.

For other settings such as shopping malls and large standalone stores, the current density limit of 10 sqm/pax roughly translates to 50 per cent capacity.

For now, the threshold will be set at 1,000 pax, which means:

  • Smaller settings and events with 1,000 or fewer persons can proceed without being subject to any capacity limit.
  • Larger settings and events with more than 1,000 persons and are mask-on would be subject to a capacity limit of 50 per cent. For mask-off events, they would be required to comply with the one-metre safe distancing requirement and prevailing group size, which will already serve to limit capacity.

Adjustments to vaccination differentiated SMMs (VDS)

From Feb. 25, 2022, unvaccinated children aged 12 years and below need not be from the same household to be included within a group entering premises or participating in activities with VDS.

Resumption of sports activities

According to MTF, there has been no compelling evidence showing that transient contact while playing sports leads to infections.

It added that the two years of SMMs have "taken its toll on the physical, emotional and mental well-being, especially the young".

From Feb. 25, 2022, all sports will be allowed to proceed with up to 30 fully vaccinated persons (including players, coaches, umpires and etcetera) at supervised/operated sports facilities (ActiveSG facilities and approved private facilities, for example).

No additional testing requirement will be imposed as long as all participants are fully vaccinated, but participants are strongly encouraged to self-test before arriving for the sports activity.

Mask-wearing still required

Amidst all these changes, mask-wearing will continue to be required as a default.

There are no new exceptions.

Top image by Andrew Koay.

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