So, the inevitable has happened. Singapore is in lockdown in all but name. A public address by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has resulted in “circuit breaker” measures that are tightened to curb the spread of COVID-19. After announcing DORSCON Orange, then taking it a step further by shuttering entertainment venues, the Singaporean government has finally had to implement the inevitable after the nation passed 1,000 confirmed cases.
With this dramatic — albeit temporary — change in our day-to-day life, panic can ensue, and fear-mongering feeds into that panic. We guarantee your WhatsApp groups are going to start getting notifications like doomsday is tomorrow, with all manner of intel. That one aunt you know that takes great joy in fake news? This is her moment to thrive. We don’t want you to get sucked into that — you need to make adjustments, so education is your best ally right now.
What does this “circuit breaker” entail? Can you still get groceries? Can you still get your McDelivery or have your takeout from a local restaurant in order to #savefnbsg? Are you still going to be able to get that crate of wine you so desperately need? How about going to the gym, the office, the post office or the mall? Breathe. We have the answers.
In case you missed it, here is the main takeaway from the Prime Minister’s address (rewatch it here). Other points from his talk include:
- It’s time to stay home. And when we say stay home, we don’t mean you still get to go out when you feel like it. Minimise any outside interaction unless necessary. Tentatively, we’re looking at a month of being home-bound.
- Schools and other learning institutions to be closed from 8 April 2020. All education to be done via e-learning. Parents, get ready to have your kids at home 24/7.
- Work from home is mandated for all non-essential businesses starting 7 April 2020. Key economic sectors and essential businesses to remain open.
- Malls, museums, gyms, department stores and other non-essential businesses may close until further notice.
- Some F&B establishments are still open, though only for takeout and delivery. Be nice to your delivery riders.
- No gatherings beyond your household. Seriously, stay home.
- A task force will be deployed to help maintain social distancing in the form of Social Distancing Ambassadors.
- If you must go out, wear a mask and “keep your droplets to yourself”. Quotable quote courtesy of PM Lee.
What is an essential business? Will I get to hashtag #WFH on all my social media posts now?
Let’s all put it together for the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore for getting this handy infographic together. If your job does not fall into the categories below, then sorry, it is a non-essential occupation. We hope you’ll be productive if you get to work from home. Bust out those sweatpants and don’t forget to put on a shirt for those con calls.
Can I still get groceries?
Amid current restrictions, you will still be able to go to the grocery store as an individual; do your best to stay out of going in a group. Safe distancing is to be practised in the supermarket, and you should not buy more than you need. Resist the urge to stockpile, you do not require that much toilet paper or rice. Seriously.
Alternatively, there are online grocery platforms such as RedMart and Cold Storage that will have its stock consistently replenished. Wet markets will remain open as well but there will be restricted entries for the more popular ones such as Geylang Serai Market, Chong Pang Market at Block 104 and 105 Yishun Ring Road, as well as the markets at Block 20 and 21 Marsiling Lane and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52. Try to buy supplies for a week so you can minimise going to the store regularly.
How about food? Can I still get meals delivered? I need to #SaveFnBSG.
Apart from learning how to cook and make your own cocktails, local establishments will convert to being open for takeout and delivery only. Standalone outlets (excluding those in hawker centres, food courts and coffeeshops) that sell only beverages, packaged snacks, confectioneries or desserts are no longer opened. If you’d like to contribute to saving a local restaurant or bar, which needs your help more than ever, click here for a guide.
How about wines and spirits?
You can still order alcohol from major supermarkets that sell it, as well as the restaurants that are putting their wine selection up for delivery. Pre-batched cocktails are also available. Watch this space for our guide to bars offering these. Drink responsibly, as alcoholic leanings can can exacerbate during a shut-in. If you need help, contact the Singapore AA here.)
Will public transport and private hire driving services still run? What if I have to go to the hospital?
Yes, private and public transport will still run, but you are not encouraged to utilise it unless strictly necessary.
Can I still go to the gym? Couch potato is not my look.
Sorry, no gym for you. It’s time to embrace bodyweight exercises and yoga for now or utilise what you have around the house to conduct home workouts. We have some for you to do here. You can, however, exercise in the neighbourhood park, although at a safe distance from others.
Can I still cut my hair, get a facial or get my nails done?
Unfortunately, beauty treatments are about to become a luxury for a little while as we all aid in bolstering the circuit breaker. If you really must pamper yourself, we have recommendations for at-home masks here. Hair salons are also closed until early June.
Will I still receive mail and packages from Amazon or Sephora?
Yes, the post is an essential business and so are delivery couriers. Your parcel will arrive unless the seller’s country has issued a border lockdown. Being stuck at home means you never have to reschedule DHL or NinjaVan ever again. Small joys!
This article first appeared on LifestyleAsia