Singapore Introduces Chinese New Year Restrictions

The Singapore government has announced measures for the Chinese New Year period in an attempt to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections spreading through the community.

Concern has been rising in Singapore as the number of community cases, although still low in comparison with other nations, have started to increase. A new set of measures will now come into effect from 26th January, to cover the Chinese New Year period.

The headline change is that there will be a limit of 8 visitors per household per day. At the moment up to 8 people can visit a household at any one time but there is no limit on the numbers allowed per day. The current limit of 8 people for outdoor social gatherings will continue.

Business gatherings to celebrate Chinese New Year will not be allowed.

Although there are no limits on who can visit a household, people are advised to try to only visit family members and wherever possible to meet people virtually. They also advise that no more than two other households should visit per day.

“With more interactions, with more human activities, there is an increased chance of transmission of any infectious disease.”

“Compared to a month ago, our vulnerability has increased, and the situation can escalate very quickly, especially with the likelihood of more interactions taking place over the Chinese New Year period.”

Lawrence Wong, Singapore Education Minister via The Straits Times

The government has also reminded people that masks must be kept on when they are outside the home, apart from when they are eating and drinking.

There are concerns that people will forget the mask requirement while celebrating the Chinese New Year. Additional enforcement checks have been announced in malls, crowded public places as well as restaurants, cafes etc. Action has been promised against people who do not follow the rules.

“Let us be mentally prepared that Chinese New Year this year will not be the same as before.”

“It will be quieter, it will be more subdued, and we will have to be more disciplined in how we go about our daily activities and interactions.”

Lawrence Wong, Singapore Education Minister via The Straits Times

Singapore has also announce Covid testing for stallholders, shop owners, food and beverage staff (including delivery drivers) in and around Chinatown.

Photo credit Catherine Poh Huay Tan on flickr

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