1. The Multi-Ministry Taskforce will be easing restrictions on two key life events – namely weddings and wakes/ funerals – as part of a careful, calibrated resumption of activities in Phase Two.
2. Singapore is six weeks into Phase Two of re-opening. Since Phase Two, most activities have resumed, subject to strict safe management measures being put in place. The number of community cases has remained low with the continued vigilance of businesses and the public over the past few weeks. However the likelihood of a second wave remains if we let down our guard.
3. Thus far, we have taken a cautious approach for activities or settings where large numbers of persons are likely to come into close contact, often in enclosed spaces, and for prolonged periods of time. Nevertheless, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce recognises the need for particularly important activities and key life events to continue during this period. We have therefore reviewed our measures to see how these can be carried out safely.
Marriage Solemnisations and Receptions
4. Since the beginning of Phase Two, marriage solemnizations have been allowed to take place with up to 20 persons (excluding the Solemniser), subject to the venue’s capacity limit based on safe management principles. From 4 August 2020, this will be expanded to 50 persons (including the couple, excluding the Solemniser and vendors) for the entire event, subject to the venue’s capacity limit based on safe management principles. This will apply to venues such as places of worship, HDB common areas and other external venues. Solemnisations at home, the Registry of Civil and Muslim Marriages (ROM/M) Building, and designated areas at the National Museum of Singapore operated by ROM will continue to take place with up to 10 persons (including the couple, excluding the Solemniser and vendors), as these venues tend to be smaller.
5. In addition, we will launch a pilot where each wedding couple will also be allowed to hold one wedding reception (including food and drinks), with up to 50 attendees (including the couple) for the entire duration of the event, in venues that are permitted to serve food and drinks (e.g. restaurants, hotels), and subject to their capacity limit based on safe management principles. Prevailing safe management measures must also be strictly adhered to.
6. All other wedding-related activities including customary rites and ceremonies, would have to adhere to prevailing gathering size limits e.g. up to 5 visitors to each household, or up to 5 persons in a group outside the home.
7. Venue operators and owners (e.g. restaurants, hotels) holding these events must ensure that the physical set-up and event arrangements are in accordance with the above groupings and other safe management measures. Please refer to Annex A for the types of venues where marriage solemnizations and receptions may be held, and https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/sector for the full set of safe management measures which will need to be put in place (a summary of key measures can be found in Annex B).
8. Through this pilot, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will assess the ability of the organisers and venue owners to ensure that the necessary safe management measures are put in place and adhered to. This will then inform the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on subsequent reviews of the parameters for such events. As these receptions remain of higher risk, we seek couples’ understanding and compliance with these guidelines, to keep their family members and friends safe, so that all present can look back on the event with happy memories. We also seek Singaporeans’ understanding that there is still a need to limit our total risk exposure so that we can keep community transmission low while resuming key activities.
Wakes and Funerals
9. Since the beginning of Phase Two, for wakes and funerals, up to 20 persons may be present at any one time. We recognise that this is a particularly emotionally difficult period for the families involved. To facilitate more family members and friends to pay their last respects, from 4 August 2020, up to 30 persons may be present at any one time, subject to the venue’s capacity limit based on safe management principles. We will continue to review the group size limits and safe management measures as part of the gradual re-opening.
Changing Norms in the New COVID-19 Normal
10. The Multi-Ministry Taskforce will continue to monitor the situation closely, with the aim of continuing to enable key social and economic activities to resume gradually and safely. Meanwhile, we must all adjust our expectations, lifestyles and norms, as we are not going back to the way things were before COVID-19. Individuals are encouraged to experiment with innovative approaches for the commemoration of key life events in the new normal, such as having hybrid virtual-physical events, so that we can continue to protect our family and loved ones as much as possible.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
30 JULY 2020