COVID: No more temperature checks at malls, public places from 19 Aug

SINGAPORE – Temperature screening in malls and other public places will be removed from 19 August as Singapore relaxes some COVID-19 safe management measures with the attainment of a high vaccination rate among its population.

In a press release on Friday (6 August), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that transmission among vaccinated individuals, and disease severity in vaccinated but infected persons, are likely to be substantially lower.

"In addition, we now have the ability to pick up infections earlier through increased surveillance measures including self-test antigen rapid test (ART) kits and rostered routine testing with fast and easy tests (FETs) in higher risk settings," the ministry added.

The wearing of masks outside one's residence will still be mandated by law.

Increase in operating capacity limits

Additionally, if the COVID situation remains under control, the MOH said, capacity limits will be increased in shopping malls and showrooms from 19 August as well.

"The occupancy limits for shopping malls and showrooms will be increased from the current limit, of 16 sqm per person of gross floor area, to 10 sqm per person," it added.

The operating capacity of attractions, cruises, museums, and public libraries will be increased to 50 per cent from 19 August.

As for congregational and other worship services, cinemas, MICE, live performances, spectator sport events, and marriage solemnisations, each can take place with up to 1,000 attendees if all are fully vaccinated. Otherwise, only up to 50 attendees will be allowed without pre-event testing.

Work-from-home requirements will also be eased, the MOH said. "In particular, up to 50 per cent of employees who are able to work from home will be allowed to return to the workplace."

From Preparatory Stage to Transition Stage A

Singapore will enter a new phase called the Preparatory Stage on 10 August when the revised safe management measures are in place before it makes more adjustments by 19 August if the COVID-19 situation is stable, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said at a media conference chaired by the multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on the pandemic.

“The Preparatory Stage should last for about a month or so, until early September, when 80 percent of our population would have received their full vaccination regimens,” added Ong, who is also the MTF co-chair.

“If by then, we can continue to keep the number of severe illnesses under control, and our healthcare capacity is not overly stretched, we will be able to move to the next phase, called Transition Stage A.”

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