Unvaccinated S’poreans Can Continue To Attend Private Worship Services, Must Keep To 5-Pax Groups

Unvaccinated People Can Continue To Attend Private Worship Services After 1 Feb

Bracing for an upcoming wave of Omicron cases, Singapore authorities announced an expansion of vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) in December.

The extension of VDS to events of all sizes, including congregational and worship services, begins on 1 Feb.

unvaccinated worshippers servicesSource

On Tuesday (25 Jan), the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) announced that unvaccinated individuals can continue to take part in private worships in groups of up to 5. One religious worker can also be present.

Groups of 5 unvaccinated individuals can attend private worship

On Tuesday (25 Jan), MCCY said that unvaccinated congregants can continue to attend private worship services next month.

These private worship sessions can include up to 5 individuals and 1 religious worker.

This is in accordance with the prevailing permissible group size of 5 for social gatherings.

Previously in December, the Ministry of Health (MOH) stated that as of 1 Feb, events of all sizes should implement VDS.

This would have meant that only the following groups of people can attend services:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals
  • Those medically ineligible for the vaccine
  • Individuals who have recovered from Covid-19
  • Children under the age of 12

Religious organisations make appeal for unvaccinated worshippers

The new concession comes after some religious organisations made appeals to allow unvaccinated congregants to attend worship services.

Religious Organisations Appeal To Let Unvaccinated Worshippers Attend Services, MCCY Discussions Ongoing

Church of St Bernadette and the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) were amongst those that made the appeal.

Following that, MCCY said they were in talks with religious organisations about the matter.

Worship services can have up to 1,000 people

Apart from private worships, from 1 Feb, VDS will be a requirement for congregational and other services at places of worship.

Services can involve up to 1,000 worshippers at a time. This is subject to safe management measures and the safe capacity of the premise.

During such services, worshippers will have to stay in zones of not more than 100 people each.

Within these zones, they can be in groups of up to 5, with a 1m distance between each group. Worshippers will have to keep their masks on at all times.

Nonetheless, MCCY says services should be kept as short as possible.

From 1 Feb, unmasked performers singing or playing wind or brass instruments can do their pre-event testing via a MOH-approved test provider or self-administered ART test.

Self-administered tests will have to be supervised on-site or virtually by the religious organisation. Records of test results must be kept.

More information on the updated SMMs for religious activities are available here.

Abide by prevailing SMMs

The VDS are in place to protect everyone, especially those more vulnerable to Covid-19.

While they may be difficult to navigate for some, it’s clear that the authorities are trying their best to strike a balance. Protecting public health remains a top priority.

Therefore, we should adhere to the measures for the sake of public safety and welfare.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from Singapore Life Church on Facebook.

  • More From Author