Singapore – Three months in with Phase 2 of exiting the Circuit Breaker period, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) for Covid-19 has recently announced that they are “charting out the roadmap to Phase 3.”
Minister for Education and co-chair of the MTF, Lawrence Wong, said at a press conference on Wednesday (Sept 23) that the Covid-19 situation in Singapore had been progressing. This means the government could soon increase the number of people allowed per group when dining out or gathering at households, which is currently at a limit of five people at any one time.
With recent Covid-19 cases in Singapore dwindling to low two-digit figures and community cases reaching single-digit figures, the MTF has announced further relaxation of restrictions on social activities.
“We are charting out the roadmap to Phase 3,” said Mr Wong at the press conference. The path would include opening up of activities, easing of border measures with countries that are deemed safe. “Within the community, we will look at the range of other measures including rules around dining…as well as visitations,” he added.
The MTF also stated that beginning Oct 3, up to 100 unique attendees, including the bride and groom, would be permitted at wedding receptions. The limit excludes vendors and is subject to the area capacity. The attendees are to be split into zones of up 50 persons each or grouped in each zone by staggered timing slots. At least half an hour must be allocated between each slot to allow for ample time to clean and disinfect the venue. The same applies to marriage solemnisation.
Venue operators unable to implement the zoning or timing requirements could be given a lower cap on attendees.
More events would also be allowed at workplaces, given they are work-related such as conferences, seminars, promotion ceremonies, induction ceremonies for new staff, corporate retreats or meetings. “Anything that’s work-related can resume subject to prevailing safe management measures at the workplace,” said Mr Wong. However, large-scale social gatherings such as celebrations, parties, team-bonding activities or gala dinners, should not resume, he added.
“So these progressive steps of opening are part of that roadmap towards Phase 3,” said Mr Wong. “We will work through the potential pathway to Phase 3, and we will share that with everyone when we are ready, perhaps in a few weeks’ time.”
On top of sharing their excitement that Phase 2 was drawing to a close, members from the online community noted everyone should continue to wear face masks in public to ensure efforts in containing the pandemic do not go to waste.
“Wearing of masks should still be made mandatory in Phase 3 until a vaccine is widely available to the public,” said Facebook user Juliana Soo. She noted that other countries are experiencing a second wave of the virus. “We have endured as a nation so far, please don’t drain efforts to waste,” added Facebook user Donald Ouh.
Others noted that it would be the social responsibility of the public to continue wearing a face mask wherever they went to prevent a resurgence of Covid-19.