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worship services, Safe Nation: moving into Phase Three of re-opening for religious activities

Safe Nation: moving into Phase Three of re-opening for religious activities

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From 28 Dec 2020, up to 250 people will be allowed at congregational and other worship services, up from 100 people today, MCCY said. The number excludes religious and supporting workers and persons implementing safe management measures. Supporting workers may include musicians.

Where the places of worship are located in residential units, up to 8 people may be admitted at a time. This is similar to the prevailing restriction on household visitors in Phase 3.

No mingling across zones before, during or after worship services

Worshippers will have to be segregated into zones holding no more than 50 persons each. Each zone must be completely separated from another either by a physical solid partition of at least 1.8m high from wall-to-wall, or by at least 3m physical spacing demarcated by continuous physical barriers such as rope barrier. This is to ensure no mingling of individuals across zones.

Each zone must have a separate entry and exit points, or staggered timings for entry and exist so that worshippers from different zones do not mix with one another during entry or exit.

Religious organisations have the responsibility to ensure that worshippers do not cross the physical barrier or enter another zone they are not assigned to.

Safe Management Measures for worship services

Safe management measures include keeping worship services as short as possible. There must be no reception or mingling between worshippers, before, during or after each worship service.

Everyone except children below the age of 6 must wear a mask. Young children are still encouraged to wear a mask or face shield.

Live performance will be allowed. There must be a distance of at least 3m between the life performers and worshippers. Up to 10 persons who are involved in the conduct of the worship service are allowed to unmask at any given time, of which up to 5 persons can be unmasked for singing. Persons should only unmask when required to perform their duties. Members in the congregation are not allowed to sing.

There must be no passing of offertory baskets or sharing of prayer mats.

Where the places of worship is an enclosed space such an an air-conditioned hall, doors and windows should be opened, where possible, to naturally ventilate the place after each use.

Safe capacity in the place of worship

Religious organisations can conduct congregational and other worship services for 250 persons, with no more than an additional 150 worshippers participating in other permitted activities (such as 3 religious classes of 50 each) in the premises at the same time.

ROs must establish a one-way flow for entry and exit points for all the permitted activities, and manage the arrival of worshippers to avoid queues from forming. There must be sufficient signs and directions to guide the different parties such that they do not interact or meet each other while entering, exiting, or while in the premises.

Funerals

For funerals, wakes, installation of niches and post-funeral rites at places of worship, up to 30 attenndees may be present at any time. This excludes religious and supporting workers whose number must be kept to a minimum. Live instrumental music (non-wind) is allowed with safe management measures in place. There must not be any reception with food and drinks.

Marriage solemnizations

Religious Organisations may continue to use places of worship to conduct marriage solemnizations for up to 100 attendees (excluding the solemnizer and religious and supporting workers, whose numbers should be kept to a minimum), subject to safe management measures and the safe capacity of the premises.

Attendees must maintain a 1 metre safe distance between groups except a core “wedding party”, which is allowed to comprise up to 20 persons (including the couple and their two witnesses). There should be no intermingling or mixing between groups nor between the “wedding party” and these other groups.

TraceTogether and SafeEntry

TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be the mandatory SafeEntry check-ins at all places of worships and public places by early next year after everyone who wants a TraceTogether token has a chance to collect the token from a community centre.

Read also  Route to Phase 3 where there is light at the end of the tunnel
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