Singapore Will Again Allow Music in Bars and Restaurants, If It’s Mellow

There was no word on what kinds of music, or what volume level, the change applies to. And live music and entertainment are still banned.

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Singapore allows music in bars and restaurants again, but it has to be mellow.

Walking past restaurants along the Boat Quay riverside in Singapore this fall.Credit…Edgar Su/Reuters

Nov. 11, 2021, 6:00 a.m. ET

After nearly five months of silence, Singapore’s restaurants and bars can play recorded music again — but not too loudly — as some coronavirus restrictions lift.

The country’s authorities, believing that loud music would force diners to raise their voices and increase the risk of coronavirus transmission, banned background music in food and beverage outlets in June.

Starting next Wednesday, “soft recorded music” can be played in restaurants again, the authorities said, as part of a gradual lifting of restrictions as the country’s coronavirus outbreak stabilizes. Live music and entertainment are still banned.

There was no word on what kinds of music — or what volume level — might be considered “soft.”

It is not the first time that music has been regulated to control the virus. In July, South Korea said that the music played at the gyms must be no faster than 120 beats per minute.

Health officials in Singapore cautioned that while the music was returning, the city still needed to remain vigilant to control the virus.

“While the total number of Covid-19 cases in hospitals and the intensive care unit (ICU) remains high, numbers are also stable,” the Health Ministry said in a statement announcing the change.

“We are easing off slightly on the bicycle breaks, but we must not let our guard down and lose control as we go down the slope,” the city-state’s finance minister, Lawrence Wong, said at a news conference on Monday.

Although 82 percent of its population is fully vaccinated, Singapore imposed strict restrictions on residents in the face of a surge of new coronavirus cases from September.

On Wednesday, the country reported 3,481 new cases and 17 deaths. Over 70 percent of the country’s intensive-care system is currently in use, according to government data.

Also from Wednesday, five vaccinated people from any household will be able to dine together in restaurants, up from two people. Sporting events will begin to resume for vaccinated residents, as will more school activities, the authorities said.

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