Finally, we are moving on from Phase 2. Singapore will begin Phase 3 of Covid-19 reopening on December 28. Prime Minister Mr. Lee Hsien Loong announced the good news in a televised address to the nation on December 14. There is so much for us to look forward to as we prepare to welcome a festive season of hope, joy and prosperity.
Here’s the key highlights of PM Lee’s speech about Covid-19 Phase 3 in Singapore:
More attendees for social gatherings
In Phase 3 of reopening, up to 8 people will be allowed for social gatherings. This means 8 people can dine out together or visit someone’s home, an increase from 5 people during Phase 2. Now you can host more members at your home for that perfect Christmas or New Year’s eve party.
Capacity limits in public places to be eased
Capacity limits in public places like malls and large standalone stores will be eased. It will be increased from 10 square metre to 8 square metre. Worship and congregational services will be allowed to accommodate up to 250 people in multiple zones of 50 each.
For marriage solemnisation ceremonies, a total of 10 persons is allowed that includes the hosting household, the solemniser and vendors. On top of that, the hosts can invite up to 8 visitors.
Tourists attractions can also start applying to Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to increase their operating capacity from 50% to 65%.
Return of Live Arts and Cultural Performances
Singapore’s arts and cultural scene is going to come back to life albeit with precautions. Live indoor performances will see up to 250 people in attendance in multiple zones of 50 each. There will be an increase in capacity from 100 to 250 for outdoor performances, too. However the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) will continue to monitor high-risk activities such as busking, karaoke, outdoor live performances and nightlife.
Free Covid-19 Vaccination
Covid-19 vaccination will be free for Singaporeans and long-term residents. All adults will be offered the vaccine but on a voluntary basis. The Health Sciences Authority has approved the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine and the first shipment is expected to arrive in Singapore by the end of December. Other approved Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in coming months.
Priority will be given to those at higher risk like healthcare workers and front-line personnel, the elderly and the vulnerable for vaccination. Members of the Ministry (the older ones) and PM Lee himself will also be among the first to receive the vaccine to show that it is safe. Rest of us will get it progressively and there will be enough vaccines for everyone by the third quarter of 2021 if all goes well.
Reopening of International Borders
As trade and travel are Singapore’s lifeblood, the government plans to reopen its international borders in a controlled and safe way. Although there are chances of imported cases, the government has promised to take all necessary measures to prevent a further outbreak.
TraceTogether for SafeEntry
TraceTogether only SafeEntry will be implemented next year where TraceTogether app or Token is required for SafeEntry check-in. Everyone who needs a token can collect from community clubs or centres in their constituency.
As PM Lee said, we still need to remain vigilant and follow safety regulations because “the battle is far from won.” With the festive period on the horizon, let us stay hygienic and practice safe distancing methods including wearing a mask and washing hands regularly to combat Covid-19.