The circuit breaker ends on 1 June but don’t expect a return to normal life immediately.
What will take place is a gradual reopening of the economy in three phases. A key point to note, as mentioned by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong who co-chairs the COVID-19 task force, is that this will kick off in a “careful, calibrated manner.” This is to prevent a flare-up of the outbreak. But here’s the good news: The latest announcement on May 28 indicates that the economy might resume operations sooner than expected. Here’s what to expect over the three phases:
“Many restrictions that are in place now will continue into Phase One,” said Wong. Phase One will kick off from 2 June. Initial announcements stated that this would take at least four weeks. But a move to Phase Two could begin earlier.
“If community transmission remains low and stable, then we will decide by the middle of June on whether we want to take the next step of moving to Phase Two, and that means Phase Two could happen before the end of June,” said Wong .
In Phase One, economic activities with a low potential for transmission will be allowed to resume. Employees who require machinery or specialised terminals can return to the office, along with those who need to complete legal documentation. Some businesses will be allowed to reopen but employees who can telecommute should continue doing so.
See below for the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s list on workplaces that can resume business:
Good news for those looking to get their roots done — all hairdressing services will resume in phase one. While haircuts and wash-and-blow services were recently allowed again, this will now be extended to the entire gamut. You’re free to colour and straighten your hair.
Selected services, such as motor vehicle servicing, aircon servicing, basic pet services will also reopen.
While you should still limit contact to people outside your household, exemptions have been made to allow for family bonding. In this phase, you cang visit your parents or grandparents. The receiving household is limited to one visit per day, with no more than two visitors. Grandparents are discouraged from visiting.
Places of worship will also reopen for private worship. Up to five prayer zones will be allocated, with each catering to a maximum of five people from the same household. Most mosques will open for private worship from June 8. Catholic and Methodist churches will not open in this phase.
Marriage solemnisations and funeral services can take place in-person, with up to 10 persons involved.
Graduating cohorts in primary and secondary school will attend school daily while others will rotate between home-based learning and school. To discourage inter-mingling between schools, co-curricular activities, enrichment activities and tuition will not resume.
In mid-June, we’ll hear when the country will move into Phase Two. More measures will be lifted, and activities will resume. Here’s what you can look forward to.
Catching up with family
Family visits will be allowed, and limited to five people. Households can receive up to five visitors per day,
Meeting your friends
That’s right, you can finally catch up with your friends without requiring a screen. Note that this can only be allowed in small groups of five.
F&B dining in services will resume once more, so you can do your part to support your favourite restaurants while still observing social distancing measures. The same rule of dining in groups of five applies to people of the same household.
Working out at the gym
You can put away your home gym equipment now, and finally lace up your shoes. Gyms and fitness studios will reopen, as well as as public venues like stadiums and swimming pools.
Shopping in person
We love online shopping as much as the next person, but few things beat the thrill of feeling a garment up-close, or actually trying on shoes. Thankfully, retail outlets are scheduled to reopen in this phase.
Your kids finally returning to school
All students as well as students at campuses of higher learning will be allowed to return to school.
At this point, Singapore has arrived at a new normal, and will remain this way until a vaccine has been achieved. Social, cultural, religious and business gatherings or events will resume, but with a limitation on the size of the gathering.
According to Gov.sg, “services and activities involving significant prolonged close contact, or crowd management risks in an enclosed space, would be reopened.” Spas, cinemas, and nightlife joints (including clubs, pubs, and bars) will reopen. You can finally have your well-earned massage, redo those eyelash extensions, watch a blockbuster in the cinema, and dance the night away.
When will we travel again?
No one has the answer to this, but the Ministry of Health has indicated that Singapore will gradually reopen its borders with measures in place. This will be executed independently from the three phases mentioned above.
The health ministry has said that the country is considering the launch of green lane arrangements with a few countries that have an equivalent or lower risk of community transmission for essential travel in limited numbers.