Up to 100 now permitted in church services, with pilot for 250 in the pipeline
Salt&Light // October 1, 2020, 7:10 pm
Covenant Evangelical Free Church (Woodlands Centre), one of the seven churches approved to conduct live worship from Oct 3. Photo by Gerald Ng.
From Saturday (October 3), all churches will be able to have up to 100 persons at their services, up from the current 50.
While these services are ongoing, churches will also be allowed to have other gatherings taking place in the building, be it a wedding solemnisation or Bible study classes, as long as the maximum number at the venue does not exceed 100 in total.
Some safe management measures remain:
- For services exceeding 50 persons, worshippers have to be divided into zones holding no more than 50 each, with each zone separated by a solid partition or a minimum spacing of 3m.
- Individual worshippers need to be 1m apart; groups attending together cannot exceed five persons.
- There can be no reception or mingling among worshippers before or after the service.
- All worshippers must wear a face mask, while those conducting the worship service (for instance, pastors or scripture readers) may wear face shields while performing speaking duties and must be at least 1m away from the next person.
- Congregational singing is not permitted, as it increases the risk of releasing a larger amount of droplets.
- Bibles, offertory bags and other common items should not be shared.
- There must be a separate entrance and exit, or staggered timings for entrance and exit.
The latest move in easing Covid-19 safety measures in religious organisations was announced by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) in a media release that was updated yesterday (September 30).
“We hope to gradually increase the worship limit beyond 100 persons at a later time, if Covid-19 community transmission remains low and stable.”
While place of worship are still encouraged to support the spiritual needs of their community via remote means, such as recording and broadcasting services, the relaxed measures come on the heels of consistently low numbers of community cases of Covid-19 in past weeks.
Wedding solemnisations in churches can now have up to 100 persons, while the cap for funerals is 30. The limit for Bible study classes is 50 persons, to be conducted in groups of up to five persons.
Churches must submit their Safe Management Plans at least three days before conducting physical activities. The requirements can be found here.
Meanwhile, seven churches have been approved for a pilot to resume live music from October 3.
Also from October 3, churches that would like to participate in a pilot to increase worship limits to 250 persons (50 persons per zone) can write in here, provided they have first safely conducted services for 100.
Said MCCY: “We hope to gradually increase the worship limit beyond 100 persons at a later time, if Covid-19 community transmission remains low and stable, and Religious Organisations are able to implement the safe management measures.”
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