National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who also serves as the co-chair of the Government’s multi-ministry taskforce, has informed Singapore residents that they will not be able to start dining out and meeting friends as soon as the circuit breaker ends in the beginning of June.
In a Facebook post published on Tuesday (19 May) evening, Mr Wong said that the re-opening of Singapore will take place in three phases to curb a second wave of COVID-19 infections. In the first phase, which will begin on June 2, more Singaporeans will be able to go back to working on-site while students will return to school.
While the circuit breaker would have been lifted by then, Mr Wong said that “restrictions will still be in place” and plans to start dining out and meeting friends “will have to wait” for at least a few more weeks.
Some businesses like retail shops will also remain closed during the first phase of re-opening. In this phase, households will be able to receive two visitors a day as long as they are children or grandchildren from the same family. Places of worship will re-open for private worship and marriage solemnisations can take place in person with 10 attendees.
The minister said, “I hope everyone understands why we have to be cautious. We cannot risk the virus flaring up again. We also must not sacrifice all the efforts that we’ve put in over the last few weeks to bring the outbreak under control.”
He added that the Government expects to be in phase 1 for a few weeks and will only move to phase 2 of the re-opening strategy if the infection rate in the community remains low and stable and the situation in the dormitories remains under control.
More social activities, like dining out in small groups, will be allowed in phase 2. Mr Wong said that the Government will re-open more consumer-facing businesses, as well as public spaces and sports facilities, in the second phase.
The ruling party politician added that the Government will continue to provide support measures to businesses that will not be able to open in phase 1 and that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will announce the details of these support measures in Parliament during his ministerial address, next week.
Mr Wong urged the public to continue doing their part in the fight to curb the spread of COVID-19. He said, “So we will need everyone to cooperate and do your part during this first phase of re-opening.
“If you are going back to work, remember to wear a mask and maintain a safe distance from your colleagues. Refrain from socialising or interacting with them at the office pantry or staff canteen. Continue to practise good personal hygiene and social responsibility.
“Let’s stay disciplined and focused, so that we can move to Phase 2 and allow a broader range of activities to resume in good time.”
<End of Circuit Breaker; Resume Activities Safely in Phases>I thank everyone who has worked hard over the past few…