SINGAPORE — From 26 June (Friday), places of worship in Singapore may resume congregational and other worship services, starting with up to 50 persons at a time, as the country enters Phase 2 of reopening after its COVID-19 circuit breaker period.
However, singing and live performances are not permitted during the worship service, and there should be no sharing of common items such as holy books, offertory baskets and prayer mats, as these are considered high-risk activities which may spread the coronavirus.
All those present at the congregational services must wear masks at all times, and observe the one-metre safe-distancing principle.
Places of worship should also open doors and windows where possible, to naturally ventilate the space after use. They should also keep worship services as short as possible, and ensure that there is no reception or mingling between worshippers before, during or after each worship service.
Increasing 50-person limit at a later time: MCCY
“We hope to gradually increase the congregation limit beyond 50 persons at a later time, if COVID-19 community transmission remains low and stable, and religious organisations are able to implement the safe management measures,” said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) in a media advisory on Thursday.
When congregations are allowed to exceed 50 persons, worshippers will have to be divided into zones holding no more than 50 persons each.
The zones will be demarcated and separated by barriers or partitions, with separate points of entry and exit or staggered arrival and departure timings. There should also be no mingling of individuals across zones.
Conducting marriage solemnisations, wakes and funerals
MCCY has also allowed places of worship to conduct marriage solemnisations, wakes and funerals in Phase 2 of reopening.
These activities can involve up to 20 persons, excluding the solemniser for marriage solemnisations, and excluding religious and supporting workers who must be kept to a minimum for funeral-related activities.
MCCY continues to encourage couples to solemnise their marriages via video link, so as to better protect themselves and their loved ones from the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Families may also continue to visit the columbaria at places of worship and install niches for their loved ones, while observing the one-metre safe distancing principle.
Other religious activities which can be conducted
During Phase 2, places of worship may conduct religious rites for groups of up to five persons, subject to safe distancing and other safe management measures. They may also conduct other religious activities, such as pastoral services and religious classes for adults and children.
Religious organisations are encouraged to continue using remote means such as recording and broadcasting of religious services and prayers. MCCY will allow up to 10 persons on location for such productions in Phase 2, with the usual safe distancing and safe management measures in place.
The organisations must submit their Safe Management Plans, including manpower deployment, at least three days before commencing Phase 2 activities.
For more information on COVID-19 measures for the religious sector, please visit www.cpro.gov.sg or contact MCCY’s community relations and engagement division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore