SINGAPORE - Singapore on Tuesday imposed new measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus such as banning conferences and closing bars and cinemas amid a spike in imported cases, but stopped short of a full lockdown.

"All events and mass gatherings...must be deferred or canceled, regardless of size," the Health Ministry said as the number of cases in Singapore rose by 49 to reach 558, including two deaths.

This applies to conferences, exhibitions, festivals, concerts, sporting events and trade fairs.

The ban comes as the government imposed a limit on gatherings outside of workplaces and schools to a maximum of 10 people.

It said the measures will be in place until April 30 but may be extended if the situation does not improve.

The government also ordered that entertainment venues like bars, nightclubs, discos, cinemas, theaters and karaoke outlets be shuttered.

Singapore has seen a spike of imported cases with Britain and the United States accounting for the largest share of them by far.

The Health Ministry plans to give legal teeth to the safe distancing measures and provide enhanced enforcement for breaches of the stay-home notice requirements.

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