International Asia "I hate to sound like a broken record": Lawrence Wong on safe-distancing...

“I hate to sound like a broken record”: Lawrence Wong on safe-distancing rules

Both task force ministers continue to remind and stress the importance of abiding by the rules




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Singapore — It has been announced that Phase 2 of the relaxation of circuit-breaker measures will commence on Friday (June 19).

At a virtual press conference on Monday (June 15), Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who co-chair the multi-ministry task force on the Covid-19 crisis, said that Phase 2 will require Singaporeans to “further strengthen individual responsibility and discipline” in order to keep the number of community cases low amidst the re-opening of the economy. 

Both ministers continue to remind and stress the importance of abiding by the rules. Enforcement officers will continue to patrol areas and guarantee that people and businesses are complying with the rules in public places.

Mr Wong said: “I hate to be a broken record, I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s one thing to comply with the rules just because you have an enforcement officer waiting and you don’t want to be fined.”

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“But, best of all, we encourage everyone to comply because of your own self-interest, right. Because you want to protect yourself, protect your family members. Because all of us need to really look at the spirit of the requirements and do our part to allow for the reopening to take place in a safe and sustainable manner.”

Mr Gan also reiterated the significance of attaining self-discipline and upholding social responsibility during Phase 2. 

He said: “I must repeat (like a) broken record because this is a very critical point. Phase 2 opening … the scope is quite wide and, therefore, it is also very difficult and challenging to try to prescribe rules and regulations for every possible scenario and setting. And I’m sure, even as we draw up the rules, people will be thinking of how to get around the rules.” 

“You can fool the rules but you cannot fool the virus,” Mr Gan warned. “If you violate the rules, the virus will get to you.” 

Earlier, Mr Gan said that Phase 2 is a significant step in moving towards a new Covid-safe normal. The multi-ministry task force will continue to monitor the situation closely with the aim of continuing to ease measures until “we have reached a new normal in Phase 3”.

Some things that can be done during Phase 2 include meeting in a group of maximum 5 people outside or in a household, re-opening of retail, F&B outlets, gymnasiums and going to the beach or the pool. /TISG

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