SINGAPORE, Sept 23 — From Oct 3, wedding receptions will be allowed to have up to 100 attendees, up from the current limit of 50, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said today.
This number includes the wedding couple, but excludes vendors and service providers.
And from November, the Government will start a pilot to allow wedding receptions at Housing and Development Board (HDB) common areas, such as void decks of public housing blocks and multi-purpose halls managed by town councils.
These receptions would have to be organised by a registered wedding organiser, MOH said. More details, including the starting date for this initiative, will be released at a later stage.
While wedding receptions will be able to have up to 100 attendees, MOH said that they have to be split into several zones of up to 50 people each, or split by staggered timings with up to 50 people in each slot.
The cap for marriage solemnisations will also be increased to 100 people, athough attendees must be split across a few zones of up to 50 persons each.
There should also be at least 30 minutes between slots for cleaning and disinfection of the event space, MOH added.
Venue operators, however, may impose a lower limit if they are unable to comply with the zoning or staggered timing requirements.
The increase in the number of attendees is aimed at facilitating marriages that may have been postponed or put on hold, MOH said.
Speaking at a media briefing today, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said: “We have taken a cautious approach to events like weddings. Some couples have put off their wedding plans in the hopes that they can ride out the pandemic and proceed with their original plans for a large wedding reception, like what we used to do before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“But the end of the pandemic is still some way off and indefinitely postponing a wedding may not be practical or desirable.”
MOH said that it will continue to review the parameters of marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions based on the ability of organisers and attendees to work together to adhere to safe management measures.
It added that this trial of bigger wedding receptions can be sustained only if they are conducted in a manner that is safe for the wedding couple, their families and friends and the general public.
Gan said: “Although wedding receptions are higher-risk events, as large groups of people interact and mingle, we believe that with strict adherence to the safe distancing and co-management measures and discipline, and by all guests doing their part, we can mitigate the risk and still enable a joyful occasion for wedding couples and their families and friends, as they come together to share this meaningful milestone in the couple’s lives.” — TODAY