Singapore, on heightened alert due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, announced it has postponed its National Day Parade from August 9 to August 21 and will only hold a ceremonial one to mark 56 years of independence.
According to a Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) statement, the National Day Rally, another major event at which the prime minister addresses the nation, has also been pushed back by a week to August 29.
MINDEF said the National Day Parade (NDP) ''will be similar to the one held last year at the Padang, but will take place at the Float@Marina Bay''.
Singapore reverted to Phase 2 (heightened alert) yesterday amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Group sizes for social gatherings have been reduced from five to two and dining-in has been suspended. Gyms, spas, cinemas and other group locations have also been shut down.
The restrictions will be in effect until August 18. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said earlier this week that the government will review the measures in two weeks.
Singapore reported 170 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, the largest single-day spike in almost a year.
Fireworks in the heartland, satellite towns of public housing out of the city, and Red Lions' free-falling parachuters' displays previously announced to be held over the August 7-8 weekend will be cancelled, the MINDEF said.
The NDP rehearsal and preview, previously planned for July 24 and July 31, have also been postponed.
''To prepare for the NDP on Aug 21, rehearsals will be conducted later in smaller component groups,'' the MINDEF said, adding that the dates will not be announced so as to discourage crowds from gathering around Marina Bay.
Spectators at this year's parade would have to undergo pre-event testing and be vaccinated against COVID-19.
There are currently 28 active clusters in Singapore with infections ranging between three and 560.
Five more cases have been linked to the Marina Bay Sands Casino cluster, bringing the total number of infections to 15. The hotel-based casino is an international resort in the city centre.
The overall number of new cases in the community has increased from 127 in the week before to 883 in the past week.
As of yesterday, Singapore had reported a total of 63,791 coronavirus cases while 36 people had died from virus-related complications.