Operationalisation of Safe Distancing Measures for Arts and Culture Stakeholders

In line with MOH’s advisory on Tighter Measures to Minimise Further Spread of COVID-19 issued on 24 March 2020, the National Arts Council (NAC) would like to inform all arts and culture companies and practitioners of the following requirements. These measures will take effect from 26 March 2020, 2359 hours, and are expected to be in place until 30 April 2020, but may be extended if the situation does not improve.




  • All public events and gatherings must be deferred or cancelled, regardless of size. This includes both ticketed and non-ticketed events and gatherings, including concerts, performances and other productions. This is a tightening of the previous requirement where all events and gatherings were to be limited to fewer than 250 participants. There should be no events at outdoor or public spaces such as concourses.
  • Private events, including birthday and wedding celebrations, involving more than 10 persons at any one time, should be deferred or cancelled.



  • All indoor and outdoor performance venues (including theatres, concert halls, blackboxes) will be closed. 
  • Indoor spaces of arts venues may continue to be used by arts and culture practitioners for honing their craft but these should not involve members of the public. Examples are rehearsals and filming (e.g. for digital broadcast). In addition, precautions should be taken to minimise risk of transmission.
  • Indoor spaces of arts venues may also be used for in-house or professional training for arts and culture practitioners and volunteers, such as workshops and courses. However, organisers and participants must adhere to the prevailing safe distancing measures (i.e. maximum of 10 persons per group, including the trainer(s) and facilitator(s); maintaining a minimum 1-metre separation between participants; health screening, visitor registration to facilitate contact-tracing).
  • Arts and cultural companies and practitioners who wish to use their spaces in arts venues in line with the uses spelled out in the bullet points above are to ensure the following:
  1. Implement visitor registration and contact-tracing measures at their entrances, such as obtaining the contact details of visitors (name and phone number and/or email address). In addition, venue operators can request visitors to download the TraceTogether app (https://www.tracetogether.gov.sg) to complement (but not replace) the contact-tracing measures.
  2. Put in place temperature screening measures as well as keep an eye out for persons who appear unwell. These visitors must then be turned away and encouraged to seek medical attention.
  3. Obtain travel and health declarations of visitors. Visitors who have been overseas in last 14 days must be turned away.
  4. Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of their premises or the spaces they rent for short-term use, especially frequently touched surfaces and items, and remove all handling objects where possible. In addition, museum stakeholders should consider removing audio guides and closing off play areas, etc. if these items/areas cannot be sufficiently cleaned and disinfected. 
  5. Provide hand sanitisers in easily accessible locations.
  6. Put up notices and posters in prominent places to remind all to practise social responsibility and comply with the safe distancing measures.
  • Performance venues which are unable to adhere to the above bullet points must be closed.
  • Existing measures for workplaces continue to apply and employers should put in place measures to reduce close physical interactions amongst employees. Tele-conferencing should also be used in place of physical meetings wherever possible. Where employees can perform their work by telecommuting from home, employers must ensure that they do so.
  • Arts venues located in tenanted spaces (e.g. commercial malls) must comply with the requirements above, as well as any other requirements that the Government may impose through landlords on tenants. Arts and culture companies and practitioners who are also landlords must ensure their tenants comply with any such requirements.

Action will be taken against any non-compliance with the government’s safe distancing requirements.  Arts & culture practitioners who do not implement or comply with the requirements may be ineligible for government grants and assistance, and may be subject to penalties under the Infectious Disease Act. Additional penalties may be imposed on those which are found to have been a place of transmission of COVID-19, if the venues are found not to have adhered to these requirements.


The NAC, National Heritage Board (NHB), as well as Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, National Gallery Singapore (NGS), Singapore Art Museum (SAM), STPI Singapore, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC), Arts House Limited (AHL) Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) will adhere to the requirements set out in the first paragraph.


These requirements are subject to further review based on the global situation and developments in Singapore, including changes to MOH’s advisories.


Updated as of 25 March 2020


Measures to Support the Arts Community During COVID-19

As announced at MCCY’s Committee of Supply debate on 6 March 2020, there are two initiatives to support the arts community to mitigate the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 situation:


Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA) 


The National Arts Council (NAC) will provide a one-time Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA) for eligible arts organisations and individuals to encourage upskilling, and grow organisational capabilities. Eligible organisations and individuals may apply for the Grant to support upskilling through local courses and programmes. The CDSA is open to:

  • NAC’s Major Companies and Seed Grant Companies (MCSG)
  • Non-MCSG arts organisations and companies either registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) or with the Registry of Societies (ROS)
  • Arts Self-Employed Persons (SEP) and sole proprietors who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents residing in Singapore and work in the local arts scene


More details on eligibility criteria can be found in the CDSA guidelines. 


Priority will be given to training programmes that are aligned with the priority areas in the Our SG Arts Plan (2018 – 2022). They include: digital technology for art-making and outreach (e.g. data analytics, digital marketing); audience engagement (e.g. facilitation and engagement in the arts, teaching artistry, arts pedagogy); entrepreneurship and organisation capabilities (e.g. fundraising, branding and marketing, financial management, governance, intellectual property and legal).


Supportable programmes should be relevant to the work of the self-employed persons and the role employees perform in their organisations. More details of suggested programmes can be found on the Arts Resource Hub website.


The CDSA is open for application for a limited time period only and will close on 15 June 2020, 5pm:


Apply Between

For Training Taking Place

16 March 2020 to 15 June 2020, 5pm

16 March 2020 to 30 September 2020


Please refer to the CDSA guidelines below for more information and email your application to cdsa@nac.gov.sg.



Venue Hire Subsidy


There will be a 30% subsidy for venue rental and associated costs for arts and culture activities, including productions, workshops and masterclasses taking place from 7 March to 30 June 2020. Eligible venues include for-hire spaces with a capacity of less than 1,000 at national cultural institutions such as The Esplanade, venues managed by Arts House Limited (i.e. The Arts House, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, Drama Centre, Goodman Arts Centre, Aliwal Arts Centre), Stamford Arts Centre, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Singapore Conference Hall, National Gallery Singapore, and National Heritage Board museums. For more information on this subsidy, please get in touch with the respective venue managers.



Arts Resource Hub (ARH) Drop-In Chat for Arts Freelancers with Tay Tong


As part of ARH’s ongoing efforts to provide the arts community with useful resources, NAC will offer drop-in chat sessions for arts freelancers seeking help or advice as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Individuals can arrange for a 40 minute chat with Tay Tong, NAC Director for Sector Development (Visual Arts).


More information on arranging for a session here