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COVID-19: What To Expect in Phase 2 of Post-Circuit Breaker
The year 2020 has been a test of patience for many Singaporeans.
It has certainly been a game of waiting...
Waited for the end of Circuit Breaker, which got extended.
Waited for the end of Circuit Breaker extension.
Waited for Phase 1 (out of 3 phases) of post-Circuit Breaker to end.
And now we are almost there, the moment many are looking forward to - Phase 2 of post-Circuit Breaker.
The Covid-19 multi-ministry task force has just announced today, 15th June 2020, that Singapore will move into Phase 2 after 18th June 2020, 2359 hours. This is because in general, community infection rates have been stable despite increase in workplace activity during Phase 1 of re-opening, cases in migrant workers have declined, and there are also no new large clusters emerging.
So What Does Phase 2 Entail?
Phase 2 will involve the resumption of more activities, subject to safe distancing principles.
These safe distancing principles will apply for all activities that are allowed to resume in Phase Two:
- Ensure safe distancing of at least one metre at all times
- If safe distancing is not feasible, the one metre requirement can be enforced between groups, if group sizes do not exceed five people. There should be no mixing between groups. This applies to small-group social gatherings and households, who may receive up to five visitors at any one time.
Activities That Can Resume in Phase 2
These are the activities that can resume once Phase Two begins from 18th June 2020 2359 hours:
- Retail businesses may re-open their physical outlets
- Dine-in at food and beverage outlets (although live music, television and video screenings are not allowed at this stage), liquor sales and consumption will have to cease at 10.30pm
- Small-group social gatherings of up to any five persons can resume. Within the home, households may receive up to five visitors at any one time
- Personal health and wellness activities
- Home-based services
- Aesthetic services
- Tuition and other private enrichment classes (although singing or voice training classes will not resume)
- Sports, parks and other public facilities. These include playgrounds, beaches, swimming complexes, sport halls, gyms and fitness studios, function rooms, and similar facilities in private condominiums and clubs
- Registered clubs and societies, at their registered premises
- All healthcare services, including face-to-face visits at residential facilities for the elderly, although safe distancing and precautionary measures will be put in place
Larger public venues, with high human traffic, such as malls and large standalone retail outlets must restrict capacity and prevent crowds or long queues from building up.
The list of businesses that are allowed to operate in Phase 2 can be found on the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s website. Businesses do not need to apply for an exemption if they are in the list. However, they need to submit the number of workers who will be working on-site via the GoBusiness portal within two weeks of the date of resumption of on-site operations.
Telecommuting should still remain as the default for businesses where feasible in order to reduce physical contact between individuals unnecessarily.
Lastly, businesses and activities should only resume when they are ready. Any flouting of safe distancing measurements may lead to closure of business activity.
Further information and guidance for various sectors will be provided by the relevant agencies in the next few days.
Next wait: Phase 3
More social, cultural, religious and business gatherings or events should be able to resume by Phase 3. Nevertheless, gathering sizes will still be limited in order to prevent a surge in cases.
As our Health Minister Gan Kim Yong says, “You can fool the rules but you cannot fool the virus. If you violate the rules, the virus will get to you.”
So let us continue with our waiting game… while staying safe.