Wei Leng Tay | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The measures include reintroducing a ban on dining on site and limiting the maximum number of people allowed to assemble from 5 to 2.
The cases of Covid-19 in Singapore have increased in recent weeks. Multiple clusters have emerged around karaoke parlors as well as wet markets and hawker food centers, sparking concerns from authorities. Data from the Department of Health last week showed there were 480 cases in the community, a significant jump from the 19 reported in the previous seven days.
Given the current rate of transmission, cases are expected to increase sharply as more people are likely to be infected.
“This is of great concern as it can affect many people in our community across the island,” Singapore’s health ministry said in a statement.
“As we continue to perform extensive testing for those at risk of infection, we can expect the number of cases to increase in the coming days,” he added.
Between July 12 and July 18, there were an average of 46 community cases detected per day – the highest number of cases detected since April 2020, the health ministry said on Tuesday.
The latest restrictions will take effect from Thursday July 22 to August 18.
What are the latest measurements?
- The number of people allowed to assemble would be reduced from 5 people to a maximum of 2 people.
- The homes will only be able to receive 2 separate visitors per day, not counting grandparents looking after their grandchildren.
- Dining in restaurants will be prohibited, but restaurants, food courts and hawker centers will be allowed to offer take-out.
- Strenuous indoor sports and exercise activities, which usually require the removal of masks, will cease.
- Large-scale events, including live performances and wedding receptions, will be scaled back and pre-event testing will remain a critical measure.
- Working from home remains the default option for most businesses.
Tuesday’s measures followed, with the city-state reporting 172 new cases on Monday, including 163 locally transmitted infections. This is the highest number of cases reported daily since last August.
The majority of these cases were linked to two large groups – the fishing port of Jurong, where fishmongers collect their stock for sale in markets and food centers, and KTV lounges, or karaoke bars – which involve customers in socializing with hostesses.
Jurong fishing port is closed until the end of the month in an attempt to break the chain of transmission, while workers have been quarantined there.
Singapore has banned the operation of KTV nightclubs, bars and lounges since last year because on-site activities are considered high risk. However, some of these establishments continued to function as food and beverage outlets. A number of them are suspected of having broken Covid-19 rules by providing hostess services.