SINGAPORE, March 24 — From April 24, more people will be allowed at wedding receptions, marriage solemnisations, live performances and certain business-to-business and sports events provided that they are tested for Covid-19 beforehand.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced this today in tandem with a press briefing by the Government’s Covid-19 task force.

Since October last year, MOH has been piloting the use of pre-event testing to reduce the risk of undetected coronavirus cases.

This requires event participants to be tested up to 24 hours before the end of an event, either at the venue or at a dedicated testing facility or clinic.

Only participants with a valid negative result will be allowed to take part.

From April 24, one group of people who need not undergo testing before taking part in events are those who have completed their full vaccination regimen and have had time to develop enough protection against the virus, which is two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

MOH said that certain activities would be allowed to scale up further:

Wedding receptions

The 100-person limit for wedding receptions will be raised to 250 attendees — including the wedding couple but excluding vendors. Participants have to be grouped in zones or time slots with up to 50 people each.

Because wedding receptions carry a higher risk of viral transmission since people are unmasked while having their meals and coming into close and prolonged contact with one another, pre-event testing for all attendees and the wedding couple will be mandatory for receptions involving more than 100 people.

The rule does not apply to wedding receptions at residences and the Registry of Civil and Muslim Marriages Building, since these venues tend to be smaller.  

Marriage solemnisations

The 100-person cap for marriage solemnisations will be increased to 250 attendees — including the wedding couple but excluding licensed solemnisers and vendors — in zones of up to 50 people each. 

For solemnisation-only events with more than 100 attendees, pre-event testing will be required only for the wedding couple.

The rule does not apply to solemnisations at residences and the Registry of Civil and Muslim Marriages Building.

Live performances

Designated venues holding live performances will be allowed to let in 750 people with pre-event testing, or up to 250 attendees if they do not roll out pre-event testing.

The National Arts Council will release updated guidelines on audience management later.

Some business-to-business events

Right now, business-to-business events being piloted and given the nod by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) may have up to 250 attendees, in zones of up to 50 people each. These events include meetings and exhibitions.

With pre-event testing, these events will be allowed to hold up to 750 participants, in zones of no more than 50 people.

STB will release updated rules and application details later.

Some seated sports events with spectators  

As part of a pilot, sports events will be allowed to have up to 750 spectators with pre-event testing, or to hold up to 250 spectators without testing.

National sports agency Sport Singapore will release more details on the pilot later.

Rules relaxed for other events

For wakes and funerals, the Government will relax the 30-person limit on the day of burial or cremation from April 24.

Fifty people will be allowed at these events at any time.

The 30-person cap will stay for other days of the wake.

“Because pre-event testing is not required and there could be a large number of persons visiting over the course of the wake and funeral to pay their last respects, attendees are reminded to maintain safe distancing and keep masks on at all times to reduce the risk of spread,” MOH said.

The ministry cautioned that even though the Government is allowing more people to take part in activities, the public must stay vigilant to keep community transmission under control.

“Each of us should observe all the safe management measures, see a doctor and get tested when sick, and be vaccinated when it is offered to us,” it said. — TODAY