SingaporeThe country steps up measures by limiting gatherings to 10 and closing bars, cinemas and entertainment venues from Thursday

Singapore shores up social defences

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Bars, cinemas and entertainment venues in Singapore will be temporarily closed from 26 March to 30 April to combat a new wave of imported coronavirus cases.
Bars, cinemas and entertainment venues in Singapore will be temporarily closed from 26 March to 30 April to combat a new wave of imported coronavirus cases. Photo Credit: Getty Images

SINGAPORE – Nightlife and social activity in Singapore will be slowed as the country announced it will close bars, cinemas and entertainment venues from Thursday 11.59pm to 30 April.

Organised tours within public venues such as sightseeing and guided walking tours will also be suspended.

The country’s Covid-19 multi-ministry task force announced on Tuesday a new set of stricter measures that aims to limit gatherings outside of school and work to a maximum of 10 people.

The new measures seek to support the country in containing the new wave of imported coronavirus cases to Singapore, which has spiked in recent days and stand at over 550 cases.

The new measures will cover a range of entertainment venues from night clubs, discos, cinemas, theatres and karaoke outlets, due to the “high risk of transmission due to sustained close contact over a period of time”.

Public venues such as malls, museums and restaurants will remain open, it must reduce crowd density in order to continue operating. Operators are to ensure the venue does not have more than one person per 16sqm of usable space.

Organised tours within public venues such as sightseeing and guided walking tours will also be suspended.

All religious services and centre-based tuition and enrichment classes will also be suspended in order to reduce contact between students from different schools.

Dining venues must also continue to adhere to safe distancing precautions. Those with fixed seating will have to use alternate seating. While related diners may sit together at one table, tables must be “spaced out”, according to the statement.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force, said that it is “mindful that the Covid-19 outbreak has already impacted many businesses, and the measures we need to take to protect ourselves to save lives will have economic impact."

However, he added that the Government is taking these into account for a second package of stimulus measures that will be announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday.

Citizens were also advised to avoid holding and participating in social events and gatherings involving more than 10 people, including weddings and birthdays.

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