SINGAPORE: This year’s National Day (NDP) parade will be postponed to August 21 after the scheduled end of Phase 2 (Augmented Alert), the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) said on Thursday (July 22).
Instead, there will be a ceremonial parade on the original date of August 9th.
“It will be similar to the one held last year in Padang, but will take place in Float @ Marina Bay,” the ministry said in a press release.
“The previously announced Red Lions fireworks and displays will be canceled over the weekend of August 7-8.”
The rehearsal and preview of the NDP, previously scheduled for July 24 and 31, has also been postponed.
“To prepare for the NDP on August 21, rehearsals will be held later in smaller component groups,” said MINDEF, which added that dates will not be announced to deter crowds from meeting at the around Marina Bay.
“Since 1966, the NDP has been held every year to mark Singapore’s independence,” the ministry said.
“This national event brings together Singaporeans from all walks of life, as one people united to affirm our unity and nationality. This year’s changes will allow NDP 2021 to take place in safer conditions, while maintaining this dear tradition “.
On Thursday, Singapore returned to Phase 2 (Augmented Alert) amid an increase in COVID-19 cases. The size of the groups for social gatherings has been reduced from five to two and the dining room has been suspended.
Restrictions will be in effect until August 18th. The Ministry of Health said earlier this week that the Government will review the measures in two weeks.
READ: MINDEF reviews the scale of the National Day parade and COVID-19 measures: Lawrence Wong
MINDEF’s announcement comes two days after COVID-19 co-chair of the multi-ministerial working group Lawrence Wong said this year’s National Day parade would continue as planned, with the Ministry of Defense reviewing the scale of the event and other measures.
The parade was scheduled to be held at The Float @ Marina Bay on August 9, and spectators were to undergo pre-event rehearsals and be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The organizing committee had not announced spectator limits, but previously said tickets for the parade will not be open for public voting due to pandemic security issues.
Instead, tickets would be given to those who have contributed to the fight against COVID-19, the committee said earlier this month. They include Singapore’s front lines, essential workers and community volunteers.
READ: NDP 2021: no public vote, tickets will be delivered to COVID-19 leaders and essential workers
Following the postponement of the National Day parade, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that the National Day Rally will be postponed for a week until August 29th.
As of July 21, the overall number of new cases in the community has increased from 88 cases the previous week to 766 cases last week.
The number of cases without a link to the community has also increased from 14 the week before to 82 cases last week.
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