COVID-19 regulations may be changing at a feverish pace, but we’re here to soothe your nerves.
This article will serve as a comprehensive one-stop resource for the current state of COVID-19 laws in Singapore. It is accurate as of 10 October 2022.
It also covers Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Framework for travel abroad. You can count on us to update this article whenever the laws change.
This article will cover Singapore’s laws and regulations regarding:
- Social gatherings
- Safe distancing
- Vaccination and Pre-Event Testing
- Vaccination-differentiated measures
- Sports and fitness activities
- Permitted activities
- COVID-19 testing
- Entering Singapore from abroad
There is no group size limit on social gatherings and no restrictions on the number of household visitors.
From 29 August 2022, it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask except on public transport, in healthcare facilities and in residential homes.
Public transport settings that require mask-wearing include
- Public buses/MRT/LRT
- Boarding areas of indoor public bus interchange
- Boarding areas of underground train premises
Other transport settings that require mask-wearing include:
- Outbound commercial flights and ferries from Singapore to destinations that require mask-wearing onboard
- Inbound commercial flights and ferries into Singapore from destinations that require mask-wearing onboard for outbound journeys
- While onboard emergency ambulances and medical transport vehicles
Healthcare facilities that require mask-wearing include:
- Hospitals, national specialty centres, polyclinics, General Practitioner (GP) and dental clinics
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Specialist, GP and dental clinics located within a shopping mall or area
- COVID-19 care facilities, testing centres and vaccination centres
- Retail and F&B establishments and common areas located within hospital buildings, national specialty centres, and polyclinics
Residential homes that require mask-wearing include:
- Nursing homes, including inpatient hospices
- Psychiatric rehabilitation homes
- Psychiatric sheltered homes
- Welfare homes and sheltered homes for the aged
- Adult disability homes/disability hostels
In the above settings, all over the age of 6 must wear a mask over their nose and also cover their chin.
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has recommended that people wear face masks of at least 2-3 layers of fabric and at least 95% bacterial filtration efficiency. Face masks are coverings that cover the wearer’s nose and mouth, and can be medical or non-medical.
Examples of masks include cloth masks and surgical masks, but do not include the following:
- Neck gaiters
- Face shields
Only the following people may use a face shield in place of a mask:
- Children below 12 years of age who may have difficulty wearing and keeping face masks on for a prolonged period of time
- People with health conditions that may result in medical difficulties when a mask is worn for a prolonged period of time
- Brides and grooms during the solemnisation of their marriage
Teachers are not allowed to wear a face shield in place of a mask.
First-time offenders who fail to comply with the above rules will be fined up to $10,000 and or jailed for up to 6 months if prosecuted in court.
Safe distancing is no longer required between individuals or groups.
Vaccination and Pre-Event Testing
Vaccination is offered free to all Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore.
Assuming a person has never contracted COVID-19 before, they are considered fully vaccinated when they have had 2 primary doses, and 1 booster dose (for a total of 3 doses), of any one of the following COVID-19 vaccines:
- Nuvaxovid, also known as Novavax
- World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) vaccines such as Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca
Persons who opt for the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine will need to get three doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac to complete their primary vaccination series. After which, they will need to get a booster vaccination within 270 days of receiving their third dose to remain fully vaccinated. After which, they will need to get a booster vaccination within 270 days of receiving their third dose to remain fully vaccinated.
Children aged 5 to 11 years old are recommended to get a first booster dose while persons who are aged 50 or older, aged care residents or have certain chronic diseases are recommended to get a second booster dose.
From 1 July 2022, persons aged 18 and above, and who have health conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19, can also get a second booster dose upon making a self-declaration. There’s no need for a physician’s referral.
Apart from being fully vaccinated, a person can also gain a cleared status if they have recovered fully from COVID-19 and had received their first positive Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result in the last 180 days.
What is Pre-Event Testing (PET)?
To begin with, there are 2 main types of COVID-19 tests:
- The Antigen Rapid Test (ART); and
- The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
An ART takes around 15 minutes to produce results, whereas a PCR test takes up to 48 hours.
PET may be required for entry into certain premises or events. Most PETs require attendees to take an ART as it produces results much quicker.
From 1 January 2022, unvaccinated persons may not undergo PET as a means of obtaining a cleared status.
If the event you would like to attend does not provide PET but you would like to undergo PET on your own, you may do so at an MOH-approved test provider.
Vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) have been lifted from 10 October 2022.
The following places and events are therefore no longer subject to VDS:
- Nightlife establishments where dancing is one of the intended activities
- Food and beverage (F&B) establishments, including restaurants, coffee shops and hawker centres
- Events with more than 500 participants at any one time
All patrons are allowed to dine at F&B establishments, including coffeeshops and canteens, regardless of their vaccination status.
Non-vaccinated persons are, however, advised to exercise caution as they face a higher risk of getting infected.
There are no maximum group sizes for dining-in.
F&B establishments are allowed to play recorded music, live music and entertainment.
From 14 June 2022, patrons are no longer required to take an ART to enter venues where dancing is one of the intended activities, such as clubs. There are also no capacity limits.
All employees may return to their workplace at any one time.
While VDS has been lifted, employers may still continue implementing VDS requirements if it’s necessary for the workplace health and safety and operational needs of their business. For example, employers may require employees returning to work to be fully vaccinated if they’re interacting with vulnerable persons, such as in the case of doctors and nurses in hospitals.
Employers are still strongly encouraged to continue implementing flexible work arrangements.
Social gatherings at the workplace are allowed.
Mask-wearing is optional at the workplace except where employees are:
- Interacting physically with others
- In customer-facing areas
Employees who need to return to the workplace are strongly encouraged to self-test weekly via an ART. If an employee tests positive, he/she is not allowed to return to the workplace until they have obtained a negative result.
Please see MOM’s requirements on Safe Management measures at the workplace for more information.
Events and attractions
Religious services may take place without any capacity limits.
There is also no limit on the number of performers.
Food and drinks can be served and self-service buffets are allowed (you are encouraged to use hand sanitisers and disposable gloves provided by the caterers).
For more information on the COVID-19 regulations on religious activities, please refer to the latest updates from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Marriages and weddings
Wedding receptions are allowed at home.
At the Registry of Marriages or Registry of Muslim Marriages, up to 20 attendees are allowed for solemnisations. Wedding receptions are not allowed.
For solemnisations and wedding receptions at home or at external venues, there are no limits on attendee numbers, venue capacity or group sizes.
The following mask regulations apply for weddings and marriage solemnisations:
- The bride and groom may unmask throughout the solemnisation and reception as long as they:
- Have undergone an ART minimally supervised by the venue operator; or
- Have obtained a valid PET 24 hours before the event.
- All other attendees must have their masks on throughout the solemnisation process. Masks may be removed momentarily for photo-taking, but must be worn immediately after the photos are taken
**Any capacity and group size limits on weddings and solemnisations discussed above do not include the solemniser and vendors.
For more details on COVID-19 regulations on weddings and solemnisations, please refer to this government webpage.
Alternatively, solemnisations may also be held virtually.
There are no group size limits or capacity limits during funerals and visits to columbaria.
Food and drinks can be served at funerals. Self-service buffets are also allowed (you are encouraged to use hand sanitisers and disposable gloves provided by the caterers).
Sports and Fitness Activities
You may engage in indoor and outdoor sports activities in areas such as gyms, fitness studios and swimming pools, with no limits on group size or venue capacity.
For indoor activities, you may remove your mask when performing strenuous activity or as part of a class requirement but will have to be put on after the completion of such activity/class and during rest breaks.
Mask-wearing is required for sport/fitness facilities such as gyms, fitness, exercise studios and areas that are located within healthcare settings.
The following activities and operations are currently permitted:
- Singing in karaoke establishments
- Tuition and enrichment classes
- Home-based businesses
- The sale and consumption of alcohol at food and beverage outlets after 10.30 pm
- Using barbeque pits in parks, HDB estates, condominiums and country clubs
- Tour groups with no tour or group size limits
When Do You Need to Get Tested for COVID-19?
When attending certain events
You may need to undergo PET when attending events. Please see the section above on PET for more information.
If you are a close contact of a COVID-19 case
If a person who tested positive for COVID-19, and with whom you have been in close contact recently, has informed you of their positive test result, you should take ART over the next 5 days.
You may leave your house only if you test negative. No further tests are needed if you test negative on Day 5.
Entering Singapore from Abroad
Generally, if you are entering Singapore from abroad, you will need to take an ART or PCR test 2 days before departure if you are not fully vaccinated.
Under the Vaccinated Travel Framework, all persons above 2 years old who are travelling to Singapore must comply with the following requirements:
|Must I take an ART/PCR test within 2 days before departure?||Must I take an On-Arrival test?||Must I serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?|
|All countries/regions||If you are fully vaccinated or are aged 12 years old and below: No, unless you are a Non-Malaysian Work Permit Holder (WPHs) holding an In-Principle Approval (IPA) in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process (CMP) sectors.||No||No|
|If you are unvaccinated: Yes, you can take either a PCR test or an ART (administered by a trained professional or remotely).||No||No|
For more updates on COVID-19 restrictions on travel to and from Singapore, please refer to the ICA website. You may also use the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s Self-Help Tool to learn the entry requirements that apply to your specific situation.
It is imperative that we continue to work together to keep Singapore a safe and healthy community even during these tough times. The government will review the current measures and may adjust the regulations accordingly.
We will be updating this article as and when such new COVID-19 laws are put in place. In the meantime, we hope you stay positive and test negative.