Phase 3 (Heightened Alert): Your guide to important numbers and safe distancing rules

Office workers practising social distancing in the lift at Maybank Tower.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Your complete guide to important numbers and safe distancing rules to navigate through phase 3 (Heightened Alert).

In a statement released by the Ministry of Health (MOH) earlier today (June 10, 2021), Singapore will be transitioning from Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) starting from next Monday (June 14) onwards.

The reopening will be conducted in two steps, Re-opening from June 14, 2021 and Further Re-opening from June 21, 2021.

With that, here’s the latest updates on the important numbers and safe distancing rules summarised.

From June 14, 2021 onwards

Five people can gather at public spaces

From June 14, the two-person limit on social gatherings will be increased to five.

Additionally, you are strongly encouraged to restrict your social gatherings to no more than five people a day. We know it is hard to be away from your friends and loved ones, but it is for the greater good, so space out your gatherings and try to refrain from the itch to meet all your friends!

A word of caution, you might have heard of groups ‘gaming’ the system. They meet or dine in on the pretext that they sit at separate tables and maintain a pseudo safe distance from each other.

Just note that this actually counts as intermingling and is against safe distancing guidelines. First-time offenders will no longer receive a simple written warning. Instead, they are instantly slapped with a S$300 fine. Repeat offenders will face a S$1,000 composition fine, or even prosecution.

Five people can visit your home

PHOTO: The Straits Times

You will be allowed to have five distinct visitors a day, up from the previous limit of two.

To reduce the likelihood of Covid-19 transmission, we should continue to limit our social circle to a small group of regular contacts. It is also recommended to limit your number of social gatherings to no more than two a day.

This number excludes the hosting household, which means that if you stay with your parents and siblings, they do not add to the count. 

Similar to when meeting as a group outside, visitors should keep their masks on throughout and only remove them when eating, drinking or smoking. 

On the bright side, grandchildren being cared for by their grandparents on a daily basis do not count towards the above limit. 

Zero employees in office (work from home as default)

Thankfully, fun times of working from home (WFH) aren’t coming to an end… At least for now.

To minimise public footfall and interactions, WFH will continue to be the default arrangement. Employers must ensure that employees who can work from home should continue to do so.

For those who need to return to the office, start times should be staggered and flexible working hours should be allowed.

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) and its current enhancements will be extended to businesses who are unable to open until June 20. From June 21 to 30, the affected sectors will receive 10 per cent JSS support.

For taxi and private hire car drivers, the government will extend the Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund for three more months at $300 per month per vehicle for two months, and $150 per month per vehicle for the next one month.

250 people allowed in cinemas, MICE, live performances, spectator sport events

Indoor live performances can now resume, and more people can also catch the latest blockbuster movies at cinemas again. However, there are new capacity limits and safe distancing restrictions (similar to weddings and worship services) in place.

This new capacity limit means that:

  • One to 50 attendees: No pre-event testing required.
  • 51 to 250 attendees: Pre-event testing is required.

Further details for each event type will be released by the respective sector agencies. But don’t expect it to be the same as how it once was. For one, the no singing, brass or wind instrument rule is also in place until 21 June (more on that later). There are a few more specific rules to follow when you attend a play, musical or concert:

  • Audiences and performers will have to keep at least 3m apart throughout. 
  • Consumption of food and drink in the same space is prohibited. 
  • Audience will have to remain static and not move around the venue during the performance or movie.
  • Strictly no physical interactions between audiences and performers

250 people can gather for congregational and other worship activities

Congregational and other worship services may take place with up to 250 attendees with PET.

Similar to the above, PET will not be required for worship activities with 50 or fewer attendees. Unmasking and singing or playing of wind instruments at live performances during worship services remain prohibited and may only resume from June 21, 2021. Further details on religious activities will be released by MCCY.

250 people can gather for wedding solemnisation

Solemnisations of up to 250 guests in external venues are allowed with pre-event testing (PET). Do remember that this cap includes the wedding couple but excludes the solemnisers or vendors. 

PET will not be required should you have 50 or fewer guests.

ALSO READ: Long queues outside supermarkets after Covid-19 rules tightened

From June 21, 2021 onwards

Five people for dine-in

Dining-in may resume from June 21, 2021 onwards, but only if the Covid-19 situation remains under control.

Groups must be limited to five people, with 1m safe distancing between each groups of diners. It is also mandatory for customers to wear their masks all times except while eating and drinking.

100 Guests allowed for wedding receptions

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Wedding receptions will be allowed to resume with up to 100 attendees (including the wedding couple but excluding vendors), with PET required for all attendees.

For wedding receptions up to 50 attendees, PET is required only for all members of the wedding party (of up to 20 attendees including the wedding couple).

From 21 June, singing, playing wind instruments and dine-in receptions will be resumed. Good news if you are planning to book a live band for your solemnisation!

30 people allowed for indoor and outdoor sports classes

Gym rats, rejoice! Gyms and fitness studios will be opened from this date onwards, with safe distancing of at least two metres between persons and at least three metres between groups of up to five persons.

Sports classes (both indoors and outdoors) will be capped at 30 persons (including the instructor) comprised of groups of no more than five persons.

You don’t have to wear a mask if you’re engaging in strenuous activities, but you are strongly encouraged to remain masked wherever possible to reduce the risk of transmission. SportSG will release further details in due time.

Other important numbers to take note of

One mobile app for reporting safe distancing breaches

See a large gathering of more than five at a restaurant or know of an office that’s not keeping to safe distancing guidelines? Well, you can blow the whistle on the OneService app.

The app is not exactly new, as it was initially introduced for reporting municipal issues, booking of public facilities and finding public parking lots. During the Circuit Breaker, the OneService app underwent an upgrade and is now also used to report safe distancing breaches. 

Just note that you’ll need to create an account or login via Facebook, Google or SingPass to lodge a report. This means that you can’t lodge a complaint anonymously and will be held accountable for the report. As such, you should exercise discretion and report only if you witnessed the breach first-hand. 

ALSO READ: Phase 2 returns: How will this affect flights, staycations & cruises?

1m Safe distance to be kept when in public spaces

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Is it 1m, 2m or as far as possible? Well, 1m is still the minimum safe distance that you should keep between yourself and others not within your group when at public spaces. This includes movie theatres, restaurants, cafes, when you’re in a queue, walk ways, etc. 

The only time that this rule may not apply is when you’re on public transport due to space constraints. That said, you should try your best to put space between yourself and other public transport riders. 

One mobile app to TraceTogether

From May 17, SafeEntry check-in to shopping malls, supermarkets, schools, banks and all other locations have to be made via the TraceTogether mobile app or token.

Other forms of SafeEntry check-in (via SafeEntry QR code or Singpass app) will no longer be available from May 17 onwards. 

More phase 3 (Heightened Alert) facts you must know

Vaccination to commence for Singapore citizens aged 12 to 39 years old

From 11 June onwards, Singaporeans aged 12 to 39 years old will be able to book their vaccination slots. Children who turn 12 this year must have crossed their birthday before they are eligible to book an appointment.

The booking link may take up to two weeks to be sent out as more supplies arrive to allow for more appointment slots. 

For the latest vaccination updates, do check out the MOH Vaccination Registration website.

Regular Fast and Easy Testing (FET) Regime for staff involved in higher-risk mask-off activities

Staff who work in higher-risk settings with unmasked customers such as in the F&B industry will have to undergo regular Covid-19 testing from July onwards. The government will be covering the cost of these tests for the next three months.

Sale of Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-test kit at retail pharmacies

ART kits for Covid-19 self-testing will be on sale to the public at various local pharmacies from 16 June onwards.

The kits available include:

  • Abbott PanBio Covid-19 Antigen Self-test
  • QuickVue At-Home OTC Covid-19 Test
  • SD Biosensor SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self-Test Nasal
  • SD Biosensor Standard Q Covid-19 Ag Home Test

According to MOH, these tests will produce results in less than 20 minutes.

ALSO READ: 7 of 13 new Covid-19 community cases on May 11 linked to Changi Airport cluster

Personal care services without masks such as facials and spas to resume from June 14 onwards.

This article was first published in SingSaver.com.sg.