SINGAPORE, Sept 23 — From next Saturday (Oct 3), all religious organisations will be allowed to carry out congregational and other worship services for up to 100 people with safe distancing and management measures, the authorities announced today.
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) is also considering a trial to raise limits for worshipping activities to encompass up to 250 people, with five zones of 50 people for assembly services.
MCCY will announce details later.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who co-chairs a governmental task force tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, announced this at a press conference this evening.
The move comes as Covid-19 transmissions in the community remain low, and is in recognition of the importance of religious activities to Singaporeans, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement.
Singapore today recorded 12 new cases of Covid-19, with one in the community.
Since Aug 7, MCCY has worked with 12 religious organisations, with more joining progressively, to test a bigger attendance at worship services of up to 100 people. For congregational services, worshippers have been split into two zones of 50.
Gan said that the pilot scheme has shown that safe distancing measures can be rolled out effectively. He cautioned, however, that large coronavirus clusters have been seeded at religious gatherings in Singapore and other countries, and the Government has therefore been “very cautious in mitigating transmissions at these events”.
Expanded capacity caps at cinemas
Separately, from next Thursday, large cinema halls with more than 300 seats will be allowed to have up to three zones of up to 50 patrons each, MOH said.
Other cinema halls will also be given the go-ahead to hold half their original capacity, or maintain the present limit of up to 50 patrons for each hall subject to safe management measures.
Cinemas were allowed to reopen on July 13, with capacity capped at 50 for each hall. — TODAY