However, smaller private parties were permitted, provided that all attendees perform a Covid-19 self-test before attending.

“We are not allowing for massive New Year celebrations. Private events with friends and family are allowed for now, but (attendees) need to conduct a Covid-19 self-test before attending such events,’’ he said.

With rising concern over the Omicron variant, Khairy also announced additional measures during today’s press conference to address the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

These include making booster doses by February a requirement to retain full vaccination status for those who received the Sinovac vaccine as well as recipients of other vaccines aged 60 years’ old and above.

The announcements were preceded today by the Health Ministry’s confirmation of the country’s second case of the Omicron variant, involving an eight-year-old child travelling with her family from Lagos, Nigeria.