August 12, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

This week Singapore passed a major milestone – full vaccination of 70 percent of its population – and has loosened restrictions on events and other activities from August 10, with further freedoms to be introduced on August 19.

The South East Asian city-state has now vaccinated 72 percent of its people with two doses, while 81 percent of the population had received at least one dose.

From August 10, business events of up to 500 people have been allowed to take place providing attendees are either fully vaccinated or have returned a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of attendance at the event. From August 19, MICE events of up to 1,000 people will be permitted to take place. For events with unvaccinated people without pre-event testing, only 50 attendees will be allowed.

As it eases restrictions, Singapore is also differentiating between what is allowed for those who are vaccinated and those who are not. From August 10, dining in at food and beverage outlets was reintroduced for those who have been vaccinated; those who are unvaccinated can only dine in at restaurants if they have a valid negative test taken within the last day.

The city-state’s current outbreak was at one point worse than the Greater Sydney outbreak – posting 182 cases on July 20, when NSW posted 78 locally acquired COVID-19 infections – but health measures have since brought case numbers down to under 100 a day, with numbers appearing to be on a continuing downward trend.