Singapore to permit live performances with 100-person audiences from November

The country prepares for a new phase of reopening

It’s news music fans in Singapore have been waiting for: live performances will be allowed to resume in the city from November 1.

The Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced the news in a press conference last night (Oct 20), detailing how the country will continue to curb the spread of COVID-19 while preparing to relax certain safety measures, such as allowing larger groups to gather.

Live shows will only permit two zones of up to 50 people each, and the number of unmasked production crew and performers will be limited. Safe distancing will be practised across the venue, from the audience area to the stage.

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More details will soon be revealed by the Ministry Of Culture, Community And Youth and National Arts Council.

In August, the Singapore government announced pilots of small-scale live performances, which began on September 11 at select venues with a maximum audience size of 50 people.

Earlier this week, local music festival Baybeats, which held a digital event in August, announced a new edition from November 6 to 8. Its full line-up will be revealed tomorrow. Festival organisers have not confirmed if any of the performances will be hosted at its longtime home of the Esplanade.

More restrictions on social gatherings may be relaxed as Singapore prepares to enter Phase 3 of its reopening. Channel NewsAsia has reported that the number of people in a social gathering may increase to eight from the current limit of five people. Religious services and wedding receptions may allow multiple zones of 50 people each, subject to venue capacity.

Singapore’s move into Phase 3 will also be premised on more widespread adoption of the digital contact tracing measure known as TraceTogether, which takes the form of both a mobile app and a physical token. In a statement released yesterday, Singapore’s Ministry Of Health said, “We will need a higher take-up rate for TraceTogether before we can start Phase 3.”

According to the official TraceTogether website, the app and token exchange “encrypted and anonymised” Bluetooth signals with other nearby devices. The data, which is saved for 25 days, allows users to be contacted if they have been in prolonged physical proximity with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The Singapore government claims that TraceTogether does not collect data about GPS locations or one’s WiFi or mobile network.

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Checking into venues via TraceTogether apps and tokens will be implemented at workplaces, schools and public venues, including live performance venues, shopping malls and F&B outlets.

Just yesterday, the government announced that cinemas will begin implementing TraceTogether contact tracing on October 26.

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