Singapore could enter the third phase of its reopening by the end of the year, provided that community cases remain low as the country steps up Covid-19 testing and contact tracing.
As part of phase three, the permitted size of gatherings outside homes could be increased from five people to eight, said the multi-ministry task force handling the pandemic.
Similarly, households could be allowed to have up to eight visitors at a time, enabling larger families to congregate.
On top of that, capacity limits in venues such as museums and places of worship and for wedding receptions may be increased, with multiple zones of 50 people permitted.
But to enter phase three, Singapore will have to keep its guard up and meet several key conditions, Education Minister and task force co-chair Lawrence Wong said on Tuesday, as he laid out the country's road map to the final phase of its reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
First, Singaporeans will still have to stick to safe management measures, including keeping to small group sizes, practising safe distancing and exercising social responsibility, such as by wearing masks.
Next, Covid-19 testing will be carried out on a larger scale to allow more activities to resume.
For starters, a pilot scheme will use a rapid test to examine people for the virus before they are allowed to attend larger-scale and higher-risk events.
This pilot programme will be fine-tuned and expanded if it proves successful.
Lastly, there needs to be a higher take-up rate for the TraceTogether programme, with more venues requiring people to check in for SafeEntry via TraceTogether, to strengthen Singapore's contact tracing regime.
These measures will be implemented progressively, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who co-chairs the task force with Mr Wong.
The Straits Times