Seventh month prayers and post-funeral rites allowed
As Singapore enters a new normal with the gradual easing of restrictions, large gatherings and festivities, such as National Day community concerts and seventh lunar month events, will by and large continue to remain virtual, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday.
But there will be exceptions.
The ministry said seventh lunar month prayers and post-funeral religious rites, conducted by religious organisations with a good track record of implementing safe management measures, will be allowed to be carried out in places of worship and some external venues such as Housing Board common areas.
Those endorsed by these religious organisations will also be allowed to perform the rites.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said at a virtual press conference earlier yesterday that many Singaporeans have expressed their eagerness to resume regular activities.
Hence, curbs were eased recently on weddings, wakes and funerals.
"We recognise that these are key milestones in life that Singaporeans hope to commemorate, and that memories of these events will stay precious long after the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
"We will continue to assess the situation and allow the gradual resumption of other events, including wedding receptions and some religious rites," he said.
But most other events should remain virtual for the time being, he added.
"This does not mean that we can no longer celebrate these occasions but that we will need to find new ways to do so."
Citing this year's National Day celebrations, Mr Gan said: "Singaporeans are a resourceful people, and many have found new and creative ways to commemorate our nation's independence while adhering to the safe management measures.
"With a right mindset and attitude we can adapt and make the best of the situation, even if we need to continue with safe distancing measures."
The authorities have taken active steps to move Singapore into a "new normal" within the pandemic environment.
But even as Singapore moves towards the new normal, task force co-chair Lawrence Wong said it is unlikely to ever be completely free of the coronavirus in the near future.
Despite Singapore's recent streak of low community cases, it must be wary of a resurgence.
"As long as we are able to put in place the necessary measures, as long as Singaporeans and residents of Singapore comply with the safe distancing measures, we think we can progressively resume more activities while keeping the infection under control," said Mr Wong.