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Singapore reopens gradually for vaccinated fans

The Asian country has doubled its previous capacity limit, seeking to move towards normality while trying to keep Covid-19 cases low

By Jon Chapple on 25 Aug 2021

Singapore skyline

image © Jnzl's Photos (CC BY 2.0)

A maximum of 1,000 people are now permitted at live events in Singapore, as the south-east Asian country continues to lift restrictions cautiously for vaccinated residents.

The 1,000-person limit – which applies to only to events where all attendees are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or can prove their negative status – includes live entertainment events, spectator sports and conferences, according to the Straits Times. The increase, announced by Singapore’s Covid-19 taskforce, doubles the previous limit of 500 (vaccinated) people, brought in earlier this month.

The city-state, which is home to nearly six million people, is taking a different approach to reopening to countries such as the UK and US, where capacity limits and social distancing regulations have been abolished.

Singapore, said finance minister Lawrence Wong, who leads the multi-ministry taskforce, does not want to open up with a “big bang” like many Western countries have, he told an audience at a hospital yesterday (24 August).

“The objective is to get to the end of this pandemic with as little death and damage as possible”

“Because they already have much higher levels of underlying immunity and protection, many of these countries are more prepared to open up fully,” he said. “They say they have a ‘Freedom Day’, and they are prepared to let the virus run its course through their population.”

In contrast, Singapore has kept infections low throughout the pandemic, with just 50 deaths from Covid-19 in total, and hopes to keep cases at a minimum while opening up, said Wong. The objective, he added, is “to get to the end of this pandemic with as little death and damage as possible, even as we progressively resume most of our normal lives.”

The new 1,000-person capacity limit will apply to those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, who have antibodies having recovered from the disease, or who test negative for the virus 24 hours before the expected end of the event in question.

At press time, some 78% of Singaporeans were fully vaccinated against the virus.


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 recovery centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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