Playing Mahjong During CNY Is Allowed, But With Strict Precautions

With Chinese New Year (CNY) around the corner, some Singaporeans may still be unsure about what they can and can’t do during celebrations. Since traditional practices like lohei are affected, many wonder if other activities like mahjong will be too.

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Good news if you’ve jio-ed your kakis already, as experts have given the go-ahead to play this CNY — as long as you follow certain protocols.

Masks up while playing mahjong during CNY

As part of the CNY visitation rules issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (22 Jan), masking up even while tossing yusheng is mandatory.


The only time you can remove them is when you’re eating or drinking at social gatherings.

Hence, this means that individuals will still need to keep their masks on when playing mahjong with their buddies.

Sanitise hands after playing

According to Lianhe Zaobao, infectious disease experts have explained that playing mahjong is okay during the pandemic, provided that players take the following precautions:

  • Wearing a mask throughout the game
  • Not touching your face with your hands
  • Washing your hands after the game ends


While these are pretty basic rules to follow, there’s no harm reminding your aunts and uncles in case they forget.

After all, we know how carried away people can get while they’re trying to call pong.

Don’t let germs live on your mahjong tiles rent-free

With 148 tiles in a mahjong set, sanitising each one may be troublesome, but you might want to consider that too. Just dunk them in a bucket of Dettol-infused liquid before a game.

If not, just follow the guidelines set by the experts, and you should be able to have a safe game with your mahjong kakis.


Remember that you can only have 8 guests over at your home if you intend to have a game there. Otherwise, keep to no more than 8 people per group in public settings.

Have a safe CNY with your loved ones, and may the huat be with you.

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Featured image adapted from Saar Leroy on Flickr.