COVID-19: More attendees allowed for weddings, religious services from 3 October

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read

SINGAPORE — Mass events such as wedding receptions and religious services will be allowed to have more attendees from next month onwards, the multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on COVID-19 announced on Wednesday (23 September).

From 3 October, wedding receptions can have up to 100 attendees (including the wedding couple but excluding vendors and service providers), subject to premise capacity.

Participants in a wedding can be split into multiple zones of up to 50 persons each, or split by staggered timings with up to 50 persons in each slot. There should be at least 30 minutes between slots for cleaning and disinfection of the event space.

The cap for marriage solemnisations will also be increased to 100 persons, split across multiple zones of up to 50 persons each. Video link solemnisations will continue to be offered as an option for couples.

Speaking at a virtual press briefing, Health Minister and MTF co-chair Gan Kim Yong noted that the government has taken a cautious approach to events like weddings. “We must be extra careful with activities that are known to have a higher risk of seeing super spreading events, to prevent the emergence of large clusters.”

He added, “Although wedding receptions are higher risk events as large groups of people interact and mingle, we believe that with strict adherence to the safe distancing and co management measures, and discipline by all guests to do their part, we can mitigate the risk and still enable a joyful occasion.”

Wedding receptions at HDB common areas

From November, wedding receptions organised by a registered wedding organiser will be allowed to take place at HDB common areas such as void decks and multi-purpose halls managed by town councils under a pilot initiative.

Further details, including the commencement date for this initiative, will be released at a later stage. In the meantime, couples may also wish to consider holding their events at function rooms and multi-purpose halls at community centres/clubs, which have been made available for wedding celebrations at affordable rates.

“The increase in the number of attendees is aimed at facilitating marriages that may have been postponed or put on hold. Given the dynamic situation of the COVID-19 situation, we encourage couples who are ready to proceed with their wedding plans to do so without delay,” MTF said in a media release on Wednesday.

Gan noted that some couples have put off their wedding plans in the hope that they can ride out the pandemic and proceed with their original plans for a large wedding reception. But he conceded, “The end of the pandemic is still some way off, and indefinitely postponing a wedding may not be practical or desirable.”

Up to 100 persons allowed for religious services

From 3 October, all religious organisations will also be allowed to conduct congregational and other worship services for up to 100 persons, subject to safe distancing and safe management measures in place.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth is also considering a pilot to increase worship limits up to 250 persons (five zones of 50 persons for congregational services) and will release further details subsequently.

"We hope these measures will go some way to help support Singaporeans' spiritual needs, especially during these difficult times," said Gan.

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