However, no presidents nor cabinet ministers have lived there after the tenure of Devan Nair, the third President of Singapore. The villas, which are meant to be used for foreign heads of state, are used rarely. The Istana building and its grounds are open to the public on five selected statutory holidays – Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Labour Day and National Day.
The open house will be subject to safe management measures to ensure the safety of all visitors, the Istana said. The Istana will be open to the public on Feb 5 in celebration of Chinese New Year.
There will also be no performances, tours or food trucks on the day. Additionally, only the outdoor gardens will be accessible to visitors, and there will be no conducted tours of the main building.
Visitors must keep their masks on at all times. Safe distancing ambassadors will be deployed to ensure visitors observe the rules.
There will be merchandise booths selling limited-edition Istana souvenirs and President’s Challenge souvenirs. Only cashless payments via Paynow will be accepted, and proceeds will go towards charities supported by the President’s Challenge.
According to channelnewsasia