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Covid-19: No singing at religious services from May 8, testing required for services involving over 100 people

SINGAPORE — From Saturday (May 8), worshippers at religious services will not be allowed to sing, as the authorities scaled back on an allowance that was made just a month ago.

A file photo of the Catholic Church of St Alphonsus, also popularly known as Novena Church.

A file photo of the Catholic Church of St Alphonsus, also popularly known as Novena Church.

  • New guidelines come a day after the authorities announced it will be stepping up measures to tackle rising Covid-19 cases
  • Religious activities will still be allowed to take place, but under more stringent measures
  • These measures will take effect from May 8 to 30

 

SINGAPORE — From Saturday (May 8), worshippers at religious services will not be allowed to sing, as the authorities scaled back on an allowance that was made just a month ago.

The cap for the maximum number of people allowed for congregational and other worship services without them having to go through pre-event testing will also be reduced from 250 to 100 people.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) released these updated guidelines on Wednesday, a day after the task force dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic stepped up various measures to tackle the rising number of locally transmitted Covid-19 cases.

When Singapore started Phase Three on Dec 28 last year to gradually resume social and economic activities after a partial lockdown, religious organisations were allowed to conduct congregational and other worship services at higher capacity limits.

Worshippers were also allowed to resume singing from April 5 this year, subject to implementation of safety measures.

However, with the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the community lately, MCCY said on Wednesday that it will impose the following temporary guidelines from May 8 to 30.

SINGING

  • There will be no singing by worshippers

  • Persons involved in or supporting the conduct of the worship service will also not be allowed to sing while masked

  • Religious organisations are “strongly encouraged” to minimise other live performance elements during their worship services, such as the playing of wind instruments

CONGREGATIONAL AND WORSHIP SERVICES

  • No pre-event testing is required for services that involve up to 100 people. While religious workers are excluded from this number, MCCY said that they should be kept to a minimum

  • Services that involve between 101 and 250 people will only be allowed if pre-event testing is done

  • However, MCCY said that worshippers can be exempted from the pre-event test if they have either been vaccinated or are able to produce a notice exempting them from the tests

  • The tests, either an Antigen Rapid Test or a Polymerase Chain Reaction, must be administered by an approved test provider

  • The test results are only valid for 24 hours from the time an individual registers at the testing premises to take the test.

  • MCCY said that the religious organisation must ensure that the result of the test is valid until the end of the worshipper’s participation in the worship service

  • For any service exceeding 50 people, MCCY said that worshippers have to be segregated into zones holding no more than 50 persons each

MARRIAGE SOLEMNISATION

  • Religious organisations will still be allowed to use places of worship to conduct marriage solemnisation

  • Wedding couples will need to be tested before the event if the solemnisation involves between 51 and 250 attendees

  • Attendees will likewise have to be segregated into zones of up to 50 people each

  • A wedding party, including the couple and their two witnesses, of up to 20 people, will be allowed

  • There will be no intermingling or mixing between groups or between the “wedding party” and these other groups, MCCY said

  • There must also not be any reception with food and drinks, or any wedding celebrations that are not essential religious rites

  • MCCY said that it also encourages the suspension of live instrumental music during this period

  • No other performances such as singing or dancing are allowed

FUNERALS

  • There should be no more than 30 attendees at funerals, wakes, installation of niches and post-funeral rites at places of worship at any time

  • This includes the day of burial or cremation

  • MCCY said that visits to the columbaria at places of worship should be kept as short as possible, with no mingling between groups of no more than five persons

Related topics

worship Covid-19 coronavirus MCCY weddings funerals

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