Heightened Alert to Minimise Transmission
Dear Funeral Directors and Funeral Parlour Operators,
HEIGHTENED ALERT TO MINIMISE TRANSMISSION
On 14 May 2021, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), the need to tighten more measures to decisively arrest the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the community. The following measures at funeral events will take effect from Sunday, 16 May 2021 through Sunday, 13 June 2021. For more information, please visit the MOH website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/updates-on-local-situation-and-heightened-alert-to minimise-transmission-14May.
Reduction of Event Sizes
2. The cap for attendees applicable to all days of the funeral is kept to 20 persons or less, down from 30 persons currently. Attendees are reminded to maintain safe distancing and keep masks on at all times to reduce the risk of transmission.
3 For scheduled cremation/burial services which had already been issued the 30 entry passes, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will be contacting the affected Funeral Directors for the re-issuance of 20 entry passes. Access will only be granted with new entry passes on the day of the funeral services. We urge everyone to exercise due diligence, together with the bereaved family, to ensure the adherence to the latest safe management measures.
Reduction in Permissible Group Size
4. The current permissible group size of up to 5 persons will be further reduced to up to 2 persons. Tables and chairs must be arranged such that each table can accommodate not more than 2 individuals seated at the table or not more than 2 individuals in each group separated by a space of at least one metre.
Cessation of Provision of Individually Packed Titbits and Beverages
5. Provision of titbits (including individually packed ones such as peanuts, melon seeds) and beverages (including bottled/packet drinks) will be disallowed to reduce risks of community transmission as attendees may be in close proximity with each other with their masks-off when during consumption. This is in line with the cessation of dine-in food and beverage establishments both indoor and outdoor. Notwithstanding, individually packed food/drink (e.g. bento boxes) may be supplied to family members of the deceased who keep vigil for the duration of the funeral wake, and need to consume food at the premises. However, they should not interact with the other attendees when consuming their meals, and should consume their meals away from guests present at the funeral/wake event.
Disallowing Face Shields
6. Face shields do not adequately prevent droplet spread if the wearer is infected. Face shields should therefore not be used as a substitute for mask wear. Religious workers involved in the conduct of religious rites, such as preachers, prayer leaders or scripture leaders, are to wear face masks at all times including performing their speaking duties.
TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SE)
7. On 4 May 2021, MTF announced that the implementation of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT only SE) would be brought forward to 17 May 2021, from the previously announced 1 Jun 2021. TT-only SE is to be implemented across all venues that experience a higher throughput of visitors and/or where persons are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods, which include funeral parlour with wake halls and at funeral events (i.e. wakes, cremation and burial services).
8. TraceTogether App or Token is required for the TraceTogether-only SafeEntry check-ins from 17 May 2021. Funeral Parlour (with wake halls) operators and Funeral Directors must make the necessary preparations to accept check-ins by the TraceTogether App or Token. You can refer to www.safeentry.gov.sg for FAQs, or more information on how to set up TraceTogether-only SafeEntry for their premises.
9. From 17 May 2021, scanning of SE-QR codes with the phone camera and Singpass App will be discontinued. To ease the transition, ID check-ins will be retained until 31 May 2021.
Facilitation of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SE) at Government-Managed After-Death Facilities
10. Funeral Directors are to ensure that attendees attending the burial services at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery or cremation services at Mandai Crematorium have performed their TT-only SE check-in. To further facilitate the TT-only SE check-in to allow attendees to check-in en-route to Mandai Crematorium/Choa Chu Kang Cemetery, NEA will include the TT-only SE QR code on the printed entry passes given to the attendees per cremation/burial service. This is in addition of the provision of the TT-only SE QR code at the Service Halls at Mandai Crematorium and at active burial sites at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery.
11. For attendees to cremation services with TT Token only, they can also perform the check-in using the SafeEntry Gateway (SEGW) devices located near the entrance of the Service Halls at Mandai Crematorium. Alternatively, the other family members/attendees can assist to perform group TT-only SE check-in using the TT App.
12. As the COVID-19 situation is still evolving, you are encouraged to closely monitor the developments and related advisories. For the latest updates, please visit the MOH website at www.moh.gov.sg.
13. This is a generic email account, for any further enquiry, you may use the feedback form available in MyEnv Mobile application or via the NEA website at http://www.nea.gov.sg/feedback.
Tan Chia Wen
Executive Manager (Engagement and Capability Development)
Memorial Facilities and Planning Division
National Environment Agency
Annex – Safe Management Measures at Funeral Events
- Attendees at wakes and funerals including foot processions, shall be kept to 20 persons or fewer at any one time, depending on the safe capacity of the venue, whichever is lower. Pre-event testing is not required.
- Burials and cremations shall be attended by not more than 20 persons in total. NEA will issue 20 entry passes for each cremation or burial application at the government-managed facilities.
- Religious workers, funerary staff and persons involved in the conduct of live instrumental music should be kept to a minimum.
- All attendees at funeral wakes, foot processions, burials and cremations must wear a mask. The prevailing group size of no more than 2 persons applies and there should not be mixing between groups. Please ensure that a safe distance of at least one metre is maintained between individuals and/or groups.
- Where seating at a table is provided, individuals must be seated at least one metre away from others at all times. Tables and chairs must be arranged such that each table can accommodate not more than 2 individuals seated at the table or not more than 2 individuals in each group separated by a space of at least one metre. There should be no mixing between groups.
- Attendees of funeral events should minimize their interaction with fellow attendees and leave the premises immediately after the event. No buffet set-up or reception with food and drinks is allowed. Provision of titbits (including individually packed ones such as peanuts, melon seeds) or drinks (including bottled/packet drinks) will also be disallowed from 16 May to 13 Jun 2021.
- Individually packed food/drink (e.g. bento boxes) may be supplied to family members of the deceased who keep vigil for the duration of the funeral wake, and need to consume food at the premises. However, they should not interact with the other attendees when consuming their meals, and should consume their meals away from guests present at the funeral/wake event.
- Live instrumental music (non-wind) will be allowed at funeral events. The persons involved in the conduct of live instrumental music must wear a mask at all times and should minimise movement to ensure that the one metre safe distance can be adhered to at all times. They are not to participate in the foot procession. No other performances (e.g. singing, dance, variety act) are allowed and there should be no sharing of equipment (e.g. musical instruments, microphones, props). Live singing and playing of wind instruments (instruments which require intentional expulsion of air) are not allowed.
- Hearse escort party is not allowed during the funeral event.
- Religious workers involved in the conduct of the religious rites (e.g. preachers, prayer leader, scripture reader), will be required to wear face mask when performing their speaking duties (i.e. preach, chanting of prayers) at funeral wakes and funeral services (i.e. cremation or burial services). They should largely remain at the spot from which they are speaking and must be at least one metre away from any other individual. Use of face shields in place of face mask is no longer allowed.
- Temperature screening is required for every individual entering the funeral event space and any person who is unwell must be turned away.
- SafeEntry check-in is required for funeral events and funeral parlours with wake halls. From 17 May 2021, TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SE) check-in will be required for funeral parlours with wake halls
- and also funeral events. Visitors must perform TT-only SE check-in, via TraceTogether app or TraceTogether token to enable or facilitate contact tracing.
- From 19 April 2021, funeral parlours with wake halls are required to deploy SafeEntry Gateway as an additional SafeEntry check-in method. The SafeEntry Gateway enables contactless detection of both the TraceTogether App and Token, and serves as an additional means of SE check-in that is quicker and more seamless.
- Discourage vulnerable persons, such as the elderly, from attending these events to protect their health and consider alternative solutions for them, such as live video screening instead.