SINGAPORE: Phase 2 of the reopening in Singapore will start after June 18 at 11.59 p.m., announced on Monday, June 15 the multi-ministry working group COVID-19.
The task force reassessed the situation and made the decision, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press release.
“Infection rates in the community have remained generally stable despite increased activity in the workplace during phase 1 of reopening. The incidence of cases in migrant workers’ dormitories has also declined, and there are no new large emerging groups, “said the Ministry of Health.
Singapore has released a two-month “circuit breaker” designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 on June 1. The multi-ministerial task force said at the time that Singapore would reopen in three phases, outlining what could be allowed under each phase.
Authorities said on Monday that phase 2 would involve the resumption of “most activities”, subject to the principles of safe distancing.
Speaking at a press conference, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong also assured that most cases have been detected following active worker screening, as well as contact.
The incidence of cases in migrant workers’ dormitories has also declined and is under control, he said, adding that there is so far no indication of the emergence of new large groups. However, he cautioned against taking this situation for granted.
“On the one hand, we want to allow the resumption of economic and community activities, while, on the other hand, we must continue to control the infection. It is a very delicate balance that we have to find and to succeed, we will need the collective effort of every Singaporean to be socially responsible. “
WHAT WILL IT TAKE OVER OR OPEN IN PHASE 2?
- Social gatherings in small groups of up to five people may resume. Within the home, households can receive up to five visitors at a time.
- Retail businesses can reopen their physical outlets.
- Meals and drinks will be allowed, up to five people can sit together. Tables should be spaced one meter apart. Points of sale must stop sales and consumption of alcohol at 10:30 p.m. Live music, television, and video projections will not be allowed at all F&B outlets at this time.
- Lessons and other private enrichment courses may resume, with the exception of singing or vocal training courses.
- Personal health and well-being as well as home services may resume.
- Registered clubs and companies will be permitted to operate on their registered premises.
- All other health care services, including elderly care services in the community, individual health exams will resume.
- The aesthetic services will resume.
- Face-to-face visits to facilities for the aged, including nursing homes, welfare homes, shelters, and homes for adults with disabilities, will resume.
- Playgrounds, beaches, lawns and fields, stadiums, swimming complexes, gyms, hard courts, gymnasiums, fitness studios, bowling centers, and function rooms will be open. This also applies to similar facilities in private environments such as condos and clubs.
- Larger public places with high human traffic such as shopping malls and self-contained large retail stores will be subject to capacity limits, and operators will be required to prevent crowds or long lines from accumulating inside and in the immediate vicinity of their premises.
DEFAULT SECURE DISTANCE MEASURES
By default, measures should be put in place to ensure that individuals maintain a safe distance of at least one meter at all times, said the ministry of health.
“When it is not possible or practical to apply a distance of 1 m safely between individuals, this requirement of 1 m may be applied instead between groups, each group comprising no more than five people and without mixing between groups, “said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.
Other safe management measures should also be put in place, she added.
The full list of companies authorized to operate can be found on the website of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Companies on this list do not need to request an exemption before resuming operations.
However, they must submit the number of workers working on-site via the business portal within two weeks of the date of resumption of site operations.
“In the interest of reducing physical contact between individuals, teleworking should remain the default for all businesses when possible,” said the MOH.
In establishments managed by authorized companies, such as for F&B meals or courses where individuals meet for activities, the requirement of a safety distance of 1 m can only be waived if each group is made up of at most five people and subject to safe overall management as previously indicated, added the spokesman.
More information for various sectors will be provided by the relevant agencies in the coming days, before the start of phase 2, said the Ministry of Health.
If they are unable to adhere to the principles of safety management, companies and organizations can urge the agencies concerned to seek approval for alternative safe distancing measures, the health ministry said.
“These businesses and activities should only open when they are ready. Businesses and organizations that violate the principles of safe management may be required to close, ”added the MOH.
In phase 2, the aim of the authorities is to ensure that the efforts made during the breaker period and phase 1 of reopening are maintained, said the Ministry of Health.
The ministry added: “By limiting close contact between individuals, while maintaining the principles of hygiene and safety management, we will be able to resume more activities without significantly increasing the risk of new groups of infections.”
Co-chair of the multi-ministerial task force, Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong said that phase 2 should not be taken as a signal that “we can relax, we can all let our guard down.”
“I think if we were to adopt this kind of mentality and attitude, it would be very easy for phase 2 to end up with an increase in the number of cases and potentially on the road, the probability of having to reintroduce restrictions. “
Mr. Gan said that the scope of opening Phase 2 is broad and therefore it is very difficult and difficult to try to prescribe rules and regulations for each possible scenario and setting.
“I am sure that even if we make the rules, people will think about how to get around the rules,” he said.
“You can cheat the rules but you cannot cheat the virus. If you break the rules, the virus will reach you. The purpose and objective of the rules and regulations are to protect you and not just penalize you”, a- he declared.
As part of Phase 1, certain authorized activities include visiting parents and places of worship with restrictions. Hairdressers and barbers have also been authorized to open and provide their full range of services. Nursery schools have gradually reopened and a system has been created to allow pupils to return to school.
Authorities said last month that phase 2 would involve the gradual reopening of more businesses and services with secure management measures in place.
At the time, authorities said moving to the next phase could take several steps, depending on the situation. Wong said last month that if infection rates remain low and stable, authorities will decide by mid-June whether or not to move on to the next phase of phase 2.
In phase 3, social, cultural, religious, and commercial gatherings or events should be able to resume, although the size of the gatherings should still be limited in order to prevent the formation of large groups.