Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020

Up to 100 people allowed at weddings from Oct 3

More people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions from Oct 3, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced yesterday.

Up to 100 people, including the wedding couple but excluding vendors and service providers, will be allowed to attend wedding receptions in venues that are permitted to serve food and drinks, Mr Gan said at a virtual press conference.

This is up from the current limit of 50 under a pilot scheme.

The cap for marriage solemnisations will also be doubled to 100 people, split across multiple zones of up to 50 people each, he added.

But the cap for solemnisations held in homes and the Registries of Civil and Muslim Marriages building remains unchanged at 10 people, excluding the solemniser, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press statement.

Mr Gan noted that some couples have put off their wedding plans in the hope of riding out the pandemic and proceeding with their original plans for a large wedding reception.

“But the end of the pandemic is still some way off and indefinitely postponing a wedding may not be practical or desirable,” said Mr Gan, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19.

The MOH added that the relaxation of rules is aimed at facilitating marriages that may have been postponed or put on hold.

“Given the dynamic (nature) of the Covid-19 situation, we encourage couples who are ready to proceed with their wedding plans to do so without delay,” it said.

Participants in a wedding can be split into multiple zones of up to 50 people each, or split by staggered timings, with up to 50 people in each time slot, said the MOH.

At least 30 minutes should be allocated between the time slots for cleaning and disinfection of the event space, MOH added.

Venue operators may impose a lower cap if they are unable to comply with the zoning or staggered timing requirements, and video-link solemnisations will continue to be offered as an option for couples.

From November, a new pilot that will allow wedding receptions arranged by a registered wedding organiser at Housing Board common areas, such as void decks and multi-purpose halls managed by town councils, will also be launched, said Mr Gan.

Further details, including the start date for this initiative, will be released at a later stage, said MOH.

There were 13,626 couples who solemnised their marriages from January to July last year.

That number fell 23 per cent to 10,542 during the same period this year.

Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development and for Education, said in Parliament earlier this month that the fall in the number of nuptials this year will have a negative impact on the number of newborns in Singapore.

She wrote on Facebook yesterday: “2020 may be a challenging year, but we hope couples will proceed with their marriage plans! Best wishes!”

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