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Members of same household can ‘walk, jog and cycle’ together, but group activities such as picnics, frisbee games disallowed at parks

SINGAPORE — During the circuit breaker period, individuals living in the same household are allowed to “walk, jog and cycle” together in parks or other public spaces. While the rules do not cap the number of household members who can do these exercises together, all forms of group gatherings in parks for activities such as picnics, kite flying, frisbee and football games are not permitted.

Members of same household can ‘walk, jog and cycle’ together, but group activities such as picnics, frisbee games disallowed at parks

Aside from beaches, the National Parks Board will progressively close different parts of Singapore’s green spaces to prevent groups from gathering.

SINGAPORE — During the circuit breaker period, individuals living in the same household are allowed to “walk, jog and cycle” together in parks or other public spaces. While the rules do not cap the number of household members who can do these exercises together, all forms of group gatherings in parks for activities such as picnics, kite flying, frisbee and football games are not permitted.

These are the directives from the relevant agencies pertaining to exercise and recreational activities.

On Monday (April 13), the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) reminded the public that “all group recreational activities are not allowed in public spaces. Individuals and members of the same household are allowed to exercise by walking, jogging and cycling”.

There have been false claims going around on enforcement action by the authorities. One such message circulating on WhatsApp claimed that a father was fined S$300 for cycling with his two daughters.

In response to TODAY’s queries, the National Parks Board (NParks) said on Tuesday that members of the public are advised to stay home to minimise the spread of Covid-19. “If they go to parks or park connectors to walk, jog and cycle by themselves or with individuals from the same household, they should practise safe distancing measures and return to their homes once done,” said NParks' group director of parks Chia Seng Jiang.

He added: “Gathering in groups in parks for social or recreational activities such as having picnics, group exercising, kite flying, bird singing, or playing games like frisbee and football are not permitted.”

Between last Saturday and 1pm on Monday, more than 200 fines were issued to individuals “who were gathered in groups for exercising, kite flying, frisbee playing, bird singing or entering areas that had been closed, as well as groups of mountain bikers and cyclists at parks managed by NParks and town councils”. Among them, about 10 people were fined for being caught entering sections of the beaches that have been closed off, Mr Chia said.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong had announced on Saturday the closure of all beaches in Singapore.

Beaches at Changi Beach Park, East Coast Park, Pasir Ris Park, Punggol Point, Sembawang Park and West Coast Park have been closed.

Apart from beaches, NParks will progressively close different parts of Singapore’s green spaces “to allow for safe distancing and prevent groups from gathering, especially during peak periods”. These spaces include open lawns as well as facilities and amenities such as playgrounds, fitness corners, dog runs and fishing spots.

“We will also temporarily close some paths and bridges in some parks, including the ones at the Wetland Centre in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, the Henderson Waves, and the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk, as well as stretches of the park connector network at different periods in a day to allow for safe distancing,” said Mr Chia, who added that most parks and gardens managed by NParks were seeing “low to moderate visitorship levels”.

Mr Chia noted that NParks employees have been empowered to enforce safe distancing measures under the Parks and Trees Act, as well as the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act and the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

He reiterated: “We are enforcing safe distancing measures at all parks, gardens and nature reserves managed by NParks, including the park connector network, Pulau Ubin as well as parks managed by town councils.” 

Mr Chia also reminded those who are placed on leave of absence or are unwell not to visit the parks.

“Those who are unwell, even with mild flu-like symptoms, should see a doctor immediately and stay at home to prevent spreading illness to others,” he said.

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NParks Covid-19 coronavirus safe distancing exercise

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