Live performances in Singapore will face further restrictions – including a no-singing rule – under a new round of stricter measures announced today (May 14).
In a press conference today, the country’s Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) revealed that stricter social distancing measures, labelled as “Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)”, will go into effect from May 16 to June 23.
Previously, live performances were able to have 100 attendees without pre-event testing and 250 with pre-event testing. This version of Phase 2 will scale down audience capacity to 50 and 100 attendees, respectively. At music events, live singing and “playing of instruments that require intentional expulsion of air” – for instance, wind and brass instruments – will be suspended.
The audience capacity rules will be applied to religious and business events as well as cinemas. Overall, social gatherings will be restricted to two people, instead of the previous five.
“Likewise, we will reduce the capacity limits across the board for shopping malls, showrooms and attractions, as well as cruises, museums, public libraries, all of these capacity limits will be scaled back,” MTF co-chair Lawrence Wong said, per Channel News Asia.
Restrictions have tightened given the increase of locally transmitted coronavirus cases, including the emergence of clusters at Changi Airport and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, among others.
Singapore had begun permitting live performances, with restrictions, as far back as September 2020. At first only selected venues, with an audience cap of 50, were allowed to host those shows. That cap was gradually increased, first to 100 in November, then to 250 audience members in December. In March, venues were allowed to have 750 attendees with pre-event testing and 250 without.
In December 2020, Benjamin Kheng, Sezairi and Charlie Lim headlined the Marina Bay Sands’ Back to Live concerts, with a maximum capacity of 500 audience members – the country’s biggest concerts since the start of its circuit breaker lockdown.
Singapore has managed to host international performers this year. In April, a concert featuring Taiwanese artists Yuming Lai and Where Chou was held at Capitol Theatre. Concert promoters IMC Live Global have also planned for a concert at the same venue by fellow Taiwan export Claire Kuo on June 25 – falling just outside the window of these Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) restrictions.