What Covid-19 regulations? Over 30 seniors gather in Chinatown for dance session

PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao

Let's not dance around the issue — even with the gradual loosening of restrictions in Singapore, Covid-19 is still a serious concern.

But you wouldn't have guessed it from the group of over 30 seniors thronging Chinatown's Garden Link Bridge on July 17 to show off their moves and work up a sweat.

The group had gathered at around 6pm and danced for about three hours, Lianhe Wanbao reported.

They danced in groups of about 10, although they kept their masks on the entire time and kept to groups of five while they were not on the dance floor, a Wanbao reporter who was on the scene said.

The organiser, a 72-year-old man who was not identified, said the group comprises senior citizens who are friends and have similar interests.

Due to the Covid-19 situation, the group had suspended their weekly meetings for about three months.

He organised Friday's session as he had thought that gatherings of 50 and below were permitted, he told the Chinese daily, citing recent changes in public health guidelines that allowed cinemas and churches to reopen.

Cinemas were allowed to resume operations on July 13, but with a maximum of 50 patrons per hall. Separate groups of patrons should also maintain a safe distance of 1m from each other.

Congregational and other worship services were given the green light to resume from June 26, limited to groups of 50 and below. Likewise, safe distancing guidelines apply.

Under phase 2 of Singapore's safe reopening, social gatherings are still limited to five persons and below. Additionally, groups should not mix.

But the organiser maintained, "We did not break the rules because we all took safety precautions."

He had reminded the participants to maintain safe distancing, keep their masks on and limit chatting as much as possible.

Another participant, a 66-year-old woman, said that she and her friends were worried about the Covid-19 situation as they were getting on in years.

"But we all followed the rules. Also, we only bought drinks. We didn't bring food to eat here."

Last month, the Ministry of Health (MOH) urged members of the public to "abide by the spirit of the rule to limit social gatherings to not more than five persons."

The ministry's statement came after a man who tested positive for Covid-19 was revealed to have met a "large group" for sports and social activities.

Such behaviour increases the risk of virus transmission, MOH said, adding that it would investigate the man.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

kimberlylim@asiaone.com