SINGAPORE, April 2 (The Straits Times/ANN): More than 900,000 people in Singapore have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Friday (April 2).
But Mr Heng also urged vigilance over the Easter weekend and called for people to continue adhering to safe management guidelines.
"Last year, Good Friday coincided with the start of the circuit breaker, and there was palpable fear and uncertainty. One year on, we can look ahead with a greater sense of hope and progress," Mr Heng wrote on Facebook.
The Covid-19 situation in Singapore is under control, vaccination is under way, and more activities are gradually being resumed, he said, noting that Christian worship services are able to have up to 250 attendees. Live performances are also allowed.
From next week, congregants will be able to sing during worship with masks on, he added.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth announced that congregants will be allowed to sing during worship services from April 5, but for only up to 30 minutes and without removing their masks.
Good ventilation must be maintained if worshippers are to sing and this can be done through opening of doors and windows, or using air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems to remove any accumulated lingering droplets.
The worship venue must be wiped down between services, and religious organisations are also encouraged to implement a safe distance of 2m between groups of up to eight worshippers if they are singing.
There should also be no sharing of prayer books and other common items, such as holy books, offertory baskets or prayer mats.
Instead, worshippers should bring their personal prayer items when required.
The number of people involved in conducting the worship service, such as performers and video crew, will remain capped at 30. Only five of them may remove their masks to sing, but from April 5, the rest may sing with their masks on.
Said Mr Heng: "I wish all Christians a blessed Good Friday and a happy Easter weekend ahead."
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also took to Facebook to commemorate the Easter holiday.
"Today is Good Friday, a day of prayer and reflection as Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. This time of solemn meditation continues till Easter Sunday when Christians rejoice in Jesus' resurrection," he wrote.
"Glad that we have been able to ease restrictions, and more can attend religious services in person."
The Ministry of Health's website said 943,307 people had received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as at Monday.
Some 375,605 people had been fully vaccinated and a total of 1,318,912 vaccine doses had been administered.