Singapore government defers pilot programme to open nightclubs and karaoke outlets

Due to an increase in community cases in the country, some of which are unlinked and under investigation

Plans to reopen select nightlife venues under a pilot programme have been deferred due to a recent increase in community cases in Singapore, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Home Affairs announced on Tuesday (January 19).

Plans for the pilot were announced in November, with two nightclubs and 10 karaoke outlets approved for reopening under strict conditions this month.

Under the pilot, these clubs would be permitted to admit up to 100 people divided into two zones, with standard mask-wearing and safe distancing measures enforced. Only local residents and work pass holders would be able to enter the locations, having provided proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the last 24 hours.

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The pilot has been deferred “until further notice” due to an increase in community cases in Singapore, some of which are unlinked and under investigation, and concerns that clusters could form in “high-risk settings” such as nightclubs and karaoke outlets.

“It is uncertain when the pilot may be able to commence, given the dynamic public health situation. Agencies will review the commencement of the pilots at a suitable juncture,” the ministries stated in a press release. “We are working with the operators who were shortlisted for the pilot on the next steps for their businesses, and assisting them individually.”

While the clubs approved for the pilot have not been named, Life in Arpeggio previously reported that several major establishments, including Zouk Singapore, did not apply for the pilot.

“We’ve carefully considered the commercial viability and experiences for consumers before deciding to not participate in the pilot programme,” Zouk Group CEO Andrew Li told the publication, citing a desire to focus on Zouk’s pivots to F&B, movie screenings and other forms of entertainment.

A separate pilot programme for bars and pubs will continue to run. Concerts have also resumed in Singapore, with an audience cap of 250 people for live indoor performances.

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Upcoming shows taking place under these conditions include indie rock band Subsonic Eye’s launch for new album ‘Nature Of Things’ at the Esplanade Concert Hall, and the AL!VE concert series, which includes a hip-hop showcase at Capitol Theatre featuring Fariz Jabba, Mediocre Haircut Crew and THELIONCITYBOY.

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