COVID-19: Marriage solemnisations expanded to 50 guests; wakes, funerals to 30 persons

·Editorial Team
·3-min read
bouquet on wooden bench with bride and groom in the background, focus on the flowers.
Up to 50 people may attend a marriage solemnisation from 4 August.

SINGAPORE – From 4 August, marriage solemnisations may be attended by up to 50 persons, and wakes and funerals may be attended by up to 30 people.

In a press release on Thursday (30 July), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that this easing of restrictions on the two key life events are “part of a careful, calibrated resumption of activities”, now that Singapore is six weeks into Phase 2 of its reopening after the circuit breaker.

Since the beginning of the phase, marriage solemnisations have been allowed to take place with up to 20 persons, excluding the solemniser. This will be expanded to 50 persons, including the couple and 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, said the ministry.

“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,” said MOH.

Additionally, the ministry 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”. These will be held in venues that are permitted to serve food and drinks, such as restaurants, hotels, and the event will be subject to the venues’ capacity limit based on safe management principles.

“All other wedding-related activities, including customary rites and ceremonies, would have to adhere to prevailing gathering size limits,” the ministry said. This refers to limits such as up to five visitors to each household, or up to five persons in a group outside the home.

“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,” the health ministry said.

Allowing more people to pay last respects

Similarly, from 4 August, up to 30 persons may be present at any one time at wakes and funerals. This is subject to the venue’s capacity limit based on safe management principles.

“We recognise that this is a particularly emotionally difficult period for the families involved,” the ministry said.

Since the beginning of Phase Two, for wakes and funerals, up to 20 persons may be present at any one time.

While Singapore continues to reopen gradually, the ministry said that “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.”

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