Up to 100 persons allowed in 12 places of worship from Friday: MCCY

St Andrew's Cathedral (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
St Andrew's Cathedral (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Twelve religious organisations (ROs) will be allowed to accommodate up to 100 persons at any one time for congregational and other worship services with safeguard precautions in place as from Friday (7 August), as part of a pilot measure by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).

The ROs involved are Masjid Assyafaah, Masjid Mujahidin, Masjid Al-Istighfar, Masjid Al-Iman, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Jurong Christian Church, Amazing Grace Presbyterian Church, Sengkang Methodist Church and Central Sikh Temple.

“This pilot will include the implementation of two zones of up to 50 persons each for congregational and other worship services in 9 of the 12 ROs,” said MCCY.

The ministry has consulted religious leaders, who are members of the National Steering Committee on Racial and Religious Harmony, to identify the ROs for the pilot. The participating ROs must have first safely conducted congregational and other worship services for up to 50 persons under the guidelines for Phase 2 reopening.

ROs participating in this pilot must submit their updated safe management plans to MCCY at least three days before starting the pilot. MCCY will assess how well these ROs implement the safe management measures for their worshippers, before deciding on whether to increase the limit on the number of worshippers for other ROs.

Besides the prevailing safe management measures introduced for Phase 2, the pilot ROs will have to put in place additional measures to keep the larger group of worshippers safe from COVID-19, taking into account the different worship practices:

Churches, mosques and gurdwaras

Establish two zones, each accommodating up to 50 worshippers, for the worship service. In worship settings where religious services are structured/seated, these zones will help to minimise interactions between worshippers. Each zone has to be separated by a physical partition or barrier. Worshippers must maintain a safe distance from one another at all times. To avoid interaction between worshippers across zones, there should also be separate entrances and exits or staggered entry and exit timings for each zone.

Buddhist, Taoist and Hindu temples

Safe management measures include ensuring no crowding or bunching of worshippers at common areas and in the prayer halls, no mingling between groups, and safe distancing between worshippers.

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