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Public libraries, archives to increase capacity, scrap weekday time limits from Aug 19

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SINGAPORE: More people will be able to visit public libraries from Thursday (Aug 19) as the National Library Board (NLB) increases operating capacities following the easing of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures.

NLB will increase the operating capacity at the National Library, its 26 public libraries, the National Archives and the Former Ford Factory from 25 per cent to 50 per cent, it said in a news release on Monday.

Dwell time limits will be removed for weekdays “to allow patrons to spend more time reading and learning at (the) facilities”.

“For weekends, we will continue with the timed entry system to manage capacity,” NLB added.

People will be allowed to visit regional libraries in Jurong, Tampines and Woodlands, as well as the National Library, the study lounge at the National Library building and the National Archives for up to three hours. All other public libraries will have a limit of two hours, while the dwell time at the Former Ford Factory will remain at one hour.

Visitors will be also required to make advance online bookings for their preferred slot if they plan to visit on the weekends. They can book for up to five people per slot. Visitors can also check online or the NLB mobile application for real-time crowd capacity in the libraries and archives before visiting.

Audience capacity for the Asian Film Archive’s public screenings at Oldham Theatre in the National Archives building will be increased from 33 people to 50, NLB said. Safe distancing will continue to be implemented for seating in the theatre, as well as to limit intermingling between groups.

Temperature screening will also no longer be required at NLB’s premises from Thursday. However, people will still need to wear their masks at all times and adhere to capacity limits in library facilities.

The government announced further easing of COVID-19 measures on Aug 6, including allowing dining-in for those who have been vaccinated and increased capacities at workplaces.

Under the new measures, museums, libraries, attractions and cruises were also allowed to increase their capacity from the current 25 per cent to 50 per cent from Aug 19.

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