As the country enters the final two weeks of the circuit breaker period that is slated to end on June 1, some measures will be gradually eased, with safety measures put in place to continue reducing the spread of Covid-19 here.
But they could be amended further if the health situation changes, such as if community cases of the coronavirus rise.
Here is how some changes are being made to safe distancing measures from June 2 announced by the Government on Tuesday (May 19).
– The default mode of working for all companies – including those allowed to resume operations in Phase 1 and later Phase 2 – is working from home, says the Manpower Ministry (MOM).
– Employees now working from home must continue to do so. They should go to the office only where there is no alternative, like if they need specialised equipment that can’t be assessed from home. Checks will be conducted, says MOM.
– Safe distancing measures must be implemented in the workplace for those who are there.
– For offices, this includes the wearing of masks inside the premises, no gatherings with colleagues during meals or breaks, and no cross-deployment of workers.
– For manufacturing, cleaning and disinfection of all equipment must be stepped up, among other things.
– For shops, the SafeEntry digital check-in system must be in place, floors must be marked to show queue lines and common spaces and items must be regularly disinfected.
– Companies must be able to show why staff who return are unable to work from home.
You may have to wait longer to get your fix of bubble tea, as outlets selling predominantly beverages are still not allowed to reopen.
According to Ministry of Health guidelines updated on May 26, face masks should still be used over face shields in most situations, although both offer adequate basic protection.
Face shields can be used in situations where it is impractical to use a face mask and where safe distancing can be maintained, such as teachers speaking for long periods in front of a class.
Government service centres dealing with issues such as housing, employment passes and taxes are set to reopen on June 2. However, they will resume services only by appointment. The rest of the government service centres will remain closed.
Social, economic and entertainment activities that carry higher risks will remain closed. People should continue to leave home only for essential activities, and should wear a mask when doing so.
CAN I VISIT MY FRIEND OR BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND? CAN I TRAVEL?
You are still not allowed to visit friends or significant others living in different households. You are allowed to visit only your grandparents and parents if they are living elsewhere, or your parents-in-law and grandparents-in-law.
Another concern is overseas travel. The existing travel advisories continue to apply and Singaporeans should continue to defer all travel abroad.
Senior citizens should continue to stay at home as much as possible.
The current measures limiting senior citizen services and senior-centric activities will remain. But senior activity centres will gradually resume some activities in a safe and controlled manner.
Community based centre services for people with disabilities will gradually re-open, with safe distancing measures in place and activities held in smaller groups.
Each household will be allowed to visit their parents or grandparents staying elsewhere. Each receiving household should limit visits to one per day, and to not more than two visitors, who must be from the same household.
Dropping off children at parents’ and grandparents’ homes for childcare will be allowed, but limited to two visitors from the same visiting household per day.
Marriage solemnisations can take place in person, involving up to 10 people.
-Places of worship can reopen for private worship, with up to five members of the same household praying together at any one time.
-Religious rites and ceremonies performed by religious workers are strictly not allowed except for marriage solemnisations and funeral-related activities.
– Families can continue to gather for wakes and funerals, with no more than 10 people at any one time.
-Families may continue to install niches for their loved ones in columbaria in places of worship.
– All government-managed columbaria, including Mandai Columbarium, will remain closed for now.
– If you need to exercise (walk, jog, cycle), you must still only do so in your neighbourhood.
– You can now exercise with household members. But you can’t gather to exercise with others not from your household.
– You must wear a mask when you set out, and while you may remove it when doing strenuous exercise, you should put it back on once that is done.
– Fishing areas, fitness corners and playgrounds in parks remain shut.
– The beaches at East Coast Park, Changi Beach Park, Pasir Ris Park, Punggol Point, Sembawang Park and West Coast Park remain closed.
– Stadiums, public swimming pools, games courts and other fitness areas remain closed.
– Pools and fitness facilities in condominiums remain closed.
– Private gyms remain closed.
– Country club facilities like pools and golf courses remain closed.
Other non-essential activities and social gatherings will remain prohibited.
Like the rest of the community, maids are still not allowed to meet friends or gather in public spaces during Phase 1. They can go out to run essential errands or buy meals, but must return home immediately after.
Home renovation works for Housing Board flats and private homes that were disrupted can restart in Phase 1. Suspended building works for single-dwelling landed residential properties will also be able to resume. All companies that intend to restart suspended renovation and building works will have to seek approval from BCA and show documents such as photos of suspended works and contractual agreements with home owners.
However, new renovation works for residential units, including new building works for landed homes, will be allowed to commence only at a later date.
– Masks – not face shields – should be worn on buses and trains as it may be difficult to ensure safe distancing measures inside.
– Safe distancing should be observed as far as possible. Commuters in buses and MRT trains should practise good personal hygiene and refrain from talking and using their phones, the LTA has said.
– Employers should try to stagger working hours so workers can avoid travel during peak periods.
– Transport operators have stepped up the cleaning of buses and trains.
Some businesses are allowed to resume if they have safe management measures in place, including these in the following sectors:
– Basic grooming, animal physiotherapy and rehabilitation services now allowed, but by appointment.
– Cosmetic services like styling of pets’ fur and spa baths are a no-no.
– Non-essential services such as pet-sitting, daycare for animals, walking, boarding and the sale of pets still prohibited.
– Home-based businesses with delivery and collection
– School bookshops and shops selling school uniforms
– Air-con servicing
– Finance and insurance. More bank branches will open. Money changers can operate if they have safe distancing measures in place and get the necessary approvals.
– IT and information services
Visit this website for the full list.
– Dining in at food and beverage outlets is still not allowed.
– Hair salons can now provide all services, including colour treatments that were disallowed under the circuit breaker.
– Spas, massages, facial threading, foot reflexology, facials and manicures continue to be disallowed.
– Most retail outlets – such as department stores and shops in malls and the heartlands – will remain closed. They can continue to do business online. Retailers should try to opt for contactless pick-up, where items are placed at designated locations for delivery staff to pick up.
– Wet markets, supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) medical halls and hair salons remain open.
– Shops that are open must have safe distancing measures like SafeEntry.
– You still can’t visit or meet anyone living in a different household. If caught, you face a composition fine of $300. Repeat offenders will face higher fines, or prosecution in court for egregious cases.
– Bars, pubs, nightclubs, theatres and cinemas remain shut. They are deemed higher risk because they draw crowds in an enclosed space.
– All arts facilities and venues, including museums, art galleries and all indoor and outdoor performance venues such as concert halls, are still shut.
– Leisure travel is not allowed. But essential travel may be allowed to resume. For instance, Singapore and China will launch a fast-track immigration arrangement early in June to facilitate essential travel for business and official purposes between the two countries.
The arrangement would first apply to Singapore and six provinces or municipalities directly under the Chinese central government – Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Singapore is also in talks with a few other countries to work out similar arrangements.
– Staycations in local hotels are still disallowed.
CAN MY CHILDREN RETURN TO PRE-SCHOOL TOGETHER?
If they are enrolled in the same pre-school but are in different cohorts and thus due to return on different days, parents are encouraged to adhere to the schedule.
However, parents who have exceptional needs and require caregiving support ahead of the scheduled return dates may approach their child’s pre-school to work out a suitable arrangement.
WHAT MEASURES WILL BE PUT IN PLACE WHEN STUDENTS RETURN ON JUNE 2?
Daily classes will be held only for graduating cohorts of students in Primary 6, Secondary 4 and 5, who will wear face masks or shields while attending their lessons. All other students will alternate weekly between home-based learning and classes in school.
Singaporeans will be able to access various healthcare services from June 2 but patients with more urgent medical needs will be prioritised.
For hospital-based care, specialist outpatient services, medical procedures and allied health services for patients with higher needs will resume.
raditional Chinese medicine needle acupuncture can resume for all conditions. Ayurvedic, chiropractic, osteopathic and other forms of traditional and complementary services for management of medical conditions and symptom relief are also allowed.
Dental procedures such as scaling and polishing, fillings, crowns, dentures and orthodontic treatment will also be allowed.
Services that can resume include:
– Specialist outpatient services
– Medical procedures
– Allied health services
– Community-based services
– Chronic disease management
Other medical procedures and services that can resume include:
– Surgical operations for advanced cataracts
– Joint surgery for patients with severe impairment
– Cancer screening and surveillance services
– Ongoing dental procedures but with measures to cut down creation of aerosols
– Diabetic foot screening
– Flu vaccination
– Complementary healthcare services for one-to-one sessions, but by appointment
– Traditional Chinese medicine needle acupuncture for all conditions
– About 6,300 Singapore Armed Forces recruits will be notified of their reporting dates for basic military training, which will start from May 26 to the middle of June.
– For about 1,700 police and Singapore Civil Defence Force trainees, their reporting dates will be between May 26 to June 8.
– Health and safety measures will be put in place, including staggered reporting dates which will allow safe distancing measures to be implemented, as well as health screening for all trainees and instructors when they return for training.
– Those who have symptoms of respiratory infection will be immediately separated from the rest and tested for Covid-19.
If the number of community cases remain low and under control, Phase 2 of the reopening could happen before the end of June. Some details that have been revealed:
– All students will be able to resume face-to-face lessons in schools, without the need for home-based learning.
– Institutes of higher learning will gradually increase the number of students back on campus at any one time for face-to-face learning.
– More businesses and services will be allowed to open, including retail shops and consumer services.
– More home-based services, such as private tuition or home-based hair salons, may be able to resume, as well as personal health and wellness services like spas, massage centres and fitness studios.
– People will be able to gather in small groups of up to five. Within the home, each household may receive up to five visitors.
– But big events like conferences, concerts, religious services and trade fairs may take longer to resume in Phase 2.
– Karaoke outlets, cinemas, arts venues and other attractions may also need more time.
– Under Phase 2, you will be able to eat at restaurants and hawker centres. But each table will be limited to five people. If there are more people, they will have to sit at a different table.
– Sports facilities and public venues like stadiums and swimming pools will re-open in Phase 2.
– Travelling for leisure will still be disallowed in Phase 2.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.