Photo from Cornerstone Community Church Facebook page.

Photo from Cornerstone Community Church's Facebook page.

Worshippers participating in services and other religious rites and activities must gather in groups of no more than two people, down from five, while Sunday School for children 12 and below is to be suspended for two weeks starting today (September 27).

However these children, who are currently ineligible for any Covid-19 vaccine in the National Vaccine Programme and are exempted from undergoing pre-event testing, can participate in vaccinated-only worship services, provided they make up no more than 20% of the total number of worshippers physically present.

The newly tightened measures were announced on Saturday by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) amid a rapidly rising number of Covid-19 cases that has been placed greater strain on hospital resources.

On Sunday (September 26), Singapore reported a record 1,939 new Covid-19 cases, marking the sixth consecutive day new infections have exceeded the 1,000 mark. Of the 78 people who have succumbed to the virus in Singapore since the start of the pandemic, 23 – a new monthly record – have been in September.

Seniors aged 60 and above are also strongly discouraged from attending or supporting religious activities, said MCCY, even if they are vaccinated. 

While the suspension of “non-congregational religious activities” for children 12 and below will last until October 10, other tightened measures will last for a month until October 24.

Other measures remain largely unchanged

The number of people permitted to gather in congregational and worship services, however, remains unchanged.

Churches may have services of up to 50 worshippers, if not all attendees are vaccinated, or up to 1,000 in zones of 50, if all participants and supporting workers are vaccinated. Singing by members of the congregation remains disallowed.

Up to 20 people are also allowed to be unmasked for singing or playing of wind and brass instruments, if all involved in the live performance are vaccinated and have undergone an antigen-rapid test (ART) by an approved test provider. The test results must be valid through the duration of the service.

For recording and broadcasting services, up to 50 people remain allowed on-location. Of these, 20 are allowed to be unmasked to sing or play a wind or brass instrument, provided they are vaccinated.

Other religious activities held in-person are also allowed to continue in gatherings not exceeding 50 persons. However, participants must be in groups of no more than two, down from five.

Nevertheless, MCCY said it strongly encourages religious activities to be conducted by remote means during this period.

Measures for marriage solemnisations remain unchanged as well, with 50 attendees allowed, if not everyone is vaccinated, and up to 1,000 attendees in zones of 50 if all present are vaccinated.

More details can be found via MCCY’s news release here.

About the author

Gracia Lee

Gracia is a journalism graduate who thoroughly enjoys people and words. Thankfully, she gets a satisfying dose of both as a writer at Salt&Light. When she's not working, you will probably find her admiring nature or playing Monopoly Deal with her little brother.