Singapore gets closer to pre-pandemic life


Singapore will relax most Covid measures from April 26, authorities said.

Lauryn Ishak | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE – Singapore will remove nearly all virus protections from Tuesday as the city-state seeks to return to pre-Covid life, authorities announced on Friday.

There will be no more social distancing or limits on the number of people at social gatherings.

Fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to take Covid tests before departing for Singapore. Since April 1, tests on arrival are no longer possible.

“It continues to look good for us. Our social resilience is strong and we are now in a comfortable position. We can therefore afford to take further steps to restore normalcy before Covid-19,” said Ong Ye Kung , the Minister of Health of Singapore.

“However, given the risk on the horizon, we should not declare a Freedom Day until the pandemic is really over. Instead, we will step down, but not completely dismantle our measures,” he added.

From April 26, social gatherings will no longer be limited to 10 people, all employees will be able to return to their workplaces, and most larger event spaces will be 100% occupied. Contact tracing is also largely stopped.

Today’s Announcement [marks] an important milestone in our journey. I would encourage everyone to remain vigilant as the situation can change quickly.

Gan Kim Yong

Singapore Minister of Trade and Industry

People do not have to keep 1 meter away from each other.

Masks are still required in almost all indoor environments. An exception is made for people in their workplace if they are not physically interacting with each other and are not in customer-facing spaces.

“Today’s announcement [marks] an important milestone in our journey. I would encourage everyone to remain vigilant as the situation could change quickly,” said Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong.

“The government will also continue to closely monitor the local and global situation so that we can respond quickly to any development,” he said.

Separate rules for unvaccinated people will be largely deleted, with a few exceptions.

Those who have not been vaccinated are still not allowed to dine in or participate in events with more than 500 people. They are also not allowed to visit places where dancing is taking place.

That said, food and beverage outlets are not required to check customers’ vaccination status, the health ministry said in a press release.

Currently, unvaccinated people are not allowed to visit malls, attractions or even enter their workplace.

The Covid situation in Singapore

Singapore reported 3,420 cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, and the number of infections continued to fall from a record 26,032 infections on February 22.

Most infected people in Singapore have mild or no symptoms.

The Southeast Asian country relaxed some Covid measures at the end of March. In mid-April, nightlife venues such as clubs and karaoke venues were allowed to reopen after about two years.

About 92% of the population has completed the primary vaccination course since Thursday, while 73% have received boosters.

The government also announced Friday that those aged 12 and older who have recovered from Covid will now need to receive boosters within nine months of their last dose to maintain their vaccinated status.

Second boosters will also be allowed on a voluntary basis for 60- to 79-year-olds, although this is only recommended for those over 80.

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