Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the circuit breaker, which started on April 7, will extend for four weeks beyond May 4. It will now end on June 1, 2020.
In addition to the previous measures, the government have advised tighter measures in the next two weeks, including closing more companies that are in essential services.
So what constitutes flouting safe-distancing/circuit breaker measures? We know that we can’t meet friends outside, but can we even go out? Here are the answers to a few common questions about the circuit breaker.
No, as of April 21, 11.59pm, all stores that sell only beverages (including bubble tea stores), confectionaries and packaged snacks will be closed. In addition, barbershops will also be closed during this period.
No. All beaches in Singapore are now closed in order to curb the spread of Covid-19 and to prevent people from gathering in groups. Areas in some parks have also been closed for the same reason.
No. Whether you work in essential services, a key economic sector or are working from home, you shouldn’t be loitering around outside your home or workplace after work. Buy what you need to (food, groceries) and head home. Last weekend, the Ministry of Manpower revoked the work pass of an essential service worker after he loitered “at various places for an extended period of time” after finishing his meal instead of going back to his place of residence. Fines have also been issued to work pass holders who breached circuit breaker measures, such as exercising in groups and gathering in public places.
Yes, you can. However, practise safe-distancing and don’t sit on demarcated areas (usually with a sticker or X pasted on). Leave immediately after you’ve received your order. Also, FYI, hawkers are allowed to eat outside their stalls, so don’t anyhow take their photos to make them viral although they’re not flouting the regulations.
You are advised to wear a mask when stepping out of the house. More importantly, you are required to wear a mask when taking public transportation and going to the supermarkets, wet markets and shopping centres. If you fail to comply, you will be fined $300 for your first offence.
Although, previously, you’re allowed to exercise with other people in the same household, you are now advised to exercise alone and only in your neighbourhood. Planning to exercise at home? Here are some workouts to try or try using these household items which can double up as fitness equipment.
No, you can’t, unless you are one of the registered caregivers. Even then, you are only allowed to visit if the patient meets the criteria set by the hospital. For Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the patient has to be “patients with intensive care needs or who require special assistance”. Out of the two caregivers, only one is allowed to visit at a time.
While there is no law that says she should not leave her house, bear in mind that the elderly have weaker immune systems and are more vulnerable to illnesses. Advise her not to go out and do marketing on her behalf. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has appealed to all elderlies to remain home during this period. If she insists on doing marketing, you are allowed to go with her if your NRIC number belongs to the same group as hers (even/odd).
Yes, you can. The Health Ministry has disallowed social gatherings, such as private parties and social get-togethers with friends and relatives.
However, an exception has been made: Individuals can still visit family members to help with their daily needs, such as caring for elderly parents.
Go once a week; there is no need to frequent the market every day or even once every few days.
Visit the market on weekdays if possible, when the crowd is likely to be around 30 per cent smaller than on weekends. If you must go on the weekend, make an effort to wake up early to avoid the peak period from 7.30am to 10am.
Vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, should avoid visiting the markets altogether, especially on weekends. Other members of the household or neighbours should lend a helping hand and try to do the buying on their behalf.
If you’re visiting a supermarket, be sure to check out this website SpaceOut.gov.sg to make sure it’s not crowded before making your way there.
Following tightened measures, entry restrictions will be imposed to avoid overcrowding. Four of the bigger markets will do so by allowing entrance according to NRIC numbers. People whose NRIC numbers end with an odd number will go on odd dates, while those with even numbers can go on even dates.
Yes. Organisations and groups which distribute essential aid to the vulnerable may continue their activities. But they are strongly encouraged to limit their activities to critical cases in need of urgent aid and essential supplies, and to take necessary precautions.
For non-urgent cases, these organisations are encouraged to engage recipients remotely – such as through phone calls, messages and video conferences.
They should also leave a number behind, just in case recipients need urgent help.
But if face-to-face interaction is necessary, organisations should try to limit the number of staff present, the frequency and duration of interactions and adhere to safe distancing of 1m.
They must not involve seniors as volunteers, and aid to seniors should be delivered to their homes.
Aid distribution should only be to known recipients, and door-to-door outreach to new recipients should be avoided.
If monetary aid is given, it should be via electronic means whenever possible. Cash can also be delivered together with food rations.
Unfortunately, you cannot. The National Parks Board (NParks) has suspended bookings for events and barbecue pits, and camping permits for parks under its care. Playgrounds, fitness corners and dog runs in parks managed by NParks have also been closed to allow for safe distancing and prevent groups from gathering.
You should visit a park near you to minimise travelling. Also check visitorship levels at website safedistparks.nparks.gov.sg before heading down.
If the park is too crowded, please do not go there. Instead, choose a less crowded green space near you where you can exercise safely.
NParks will be actively monitoring visitorship at popular areas such as Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the TreeTop Walk, and may temporarily close them when necessary to allow for safe distancing.
With the tightened circuit breaker measures, you’re advised to exercise within your neighbourhood and to do so alone.
You should return home once you are done with your exercise, and always practise safe distancing. Gathering in groups is not permitted – this means no picnics, no parties.
You also cannot meet your friends there. Go alone or with your immediate family members.
If you are on leave of absence or are unwell, please do not visit the parks. See a doctor immediately and stay home.
Around 1,000 NParks staff will be enforcing safe distancing measures at its parks and nature reserves, including park connectors, Pulau Ubin as well as parks managed by town councils.
All in all, you should use your common sense: To protect the safety of yourself and your loved ones, as much as possible, stay home.
Under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, people should stay home until Jun 1 and not go out unless they need to buy food or essential items, see a doctor, or are working in essential services. If they go out, they must keep a distance of 1m from others, even in open spaces, among other measures.
If a person is found in breach of these measures, an enforcement officer will take down his or her particulars and issue a written stern warning. Subsequent offences will result in a composition fine or prosecution. The police may also be contacted for follow-up action.
If convicted, first-time offenders can face a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Second-time offenders can be fined up to $20,000, jailed up to 12 months, or face both penalties.
• All schools and institutes of higher learning will shift to full home-based learning. This means students will log in from home (read also “5 Stress-Free Tips On Working From Home With Kids“) and be taught remotely by their teachers.
• School-based mid-year exams will be cancelled. But national exams like the mid-year O- and A-level mother tongue exams, the PSLE and final-year exams will continue.
• Face-to-face tuition, music lessons, dance classes, sports training and other such activities will all be put on hold.
• Sorry, dining out is no longer an option.
• While food and beverage outlets will remain open, they can do only take-away and delivery. In fact, you cannot even eat or drink while waiting for your food to be prepared.
• F&B outlets include restaurants, hawker centres, coffee shops and foodcourts. They also include any outlet that has a food licence. This means cupcake shops, coffee chain outlets, bak kwa franchises and bubble tea chains will stay open – but only for take-away.
• Food delivery services are big now, so you might want to download their apps. The big boys are Foodpanda, Deliveroo and GrabFood.
• Smaller eateries, hawker stalls and cafes that currently do not offer food on delivery are advised to sign up for a scheme by Enterprise Singapore that will help to lower costs of using online food delivery platforms.
• Businesses that can run with employees working from home via telecommuting should continue. But if they can’t, they must be closed.
• The exception is for businesses that provide essential services. These companies must ensure there are safe distancing measures in place. These include cutting down on physical meetings, staggering working hours and making sure you sit at least 1m away from your colleagues.
• All public and private hospitals remain open, as do all general practitioner clinics, polyclinics, offsite specialist clinics and community hospitals.
• Dialysis services and other renal replacement services will also be open.
• But if you are planning to get your Botox fix or do your annual health screening, you will have to wait. The Health Ministry classifies these as non-essential services.
• Aesthetics services, outpatient rehabilitation therapy, cataract surgery for stable cataract conditions and traditional Chinese medicine treatments such as acupuncture will not be available.
• Senior befriending and counselling services should be offered remotely.
• You can continue to save lives during the outbreak. Blood donation services remain open.
• Do not worry. Wholesale markets, wet markets, supermarkets and provision shops will still be open.
• The food supply chain – including food being flown in, the manufacture of food, as well as abattoirs – will still be operating. There is no need to hoard food.
• But when you go shopping, you must keep a safe distance from others. Follow the markings on the floor, including at wet markets.
• You can also order online. Taxi and private-hire car drivers have been roped in to deliver groceries, although operational details remain unclear.
• Pre-schools will be closed. But parents/guardians who are working in essential services and are unable to find alternative care arrangements will get help in looking after their children. Priority will be given to children of healthcare workers as well as those of low-wage or daily-wage workers employed in essential services.
• In addition, selected care services for students such as those in student care centres and special education schools will be open. Parents should approach their child’s pre-school or school for help.
• For those who drive, some good news: Electronic Road Pricing charges at all gantries will cease till Jun 1. Petrol stations will operate as usual.
• You can still travel by taxi or private-hire car – no change there.
• Public buses and the MRT will also function as normal.
• Try to avoid socialising beyond your own household.
• Try not to move from place to place. Reside in one place for now.
• You can still keep in touch with family members and friends through video calls or phone calls.
• It is especially important for seniors to stay at home. Singing, dancing and exercise classes at community centres have been suspended, but seniors can keep busy with online programmes.
•All places of worship will be closed. Earlier, services were suspended but they could stay open for private worship for not more than 10 people at any one time.
•Where necessary, places of worship may continue to conduct funeral rites, but should involve no more than 10 people at any one time.
• Funeral-related services will continue, with safe distancing measures.
• All government-managed columbaria will be closed during the circuit breaker period. Installation of urns into niches may continue, with a permit. Choa Chu Kang Cemetery will remain open for burials, and Mandai Crematorium will remain open for cremation services.
• Banking services will be available through online channels, ATMs and bank branches, as will services like insurance broking.
• But check before you visit a bank. Some branches will be shut or may have changed their opening hours.
• Most sports and recreational centres will be shut.
• Public swimming pools, such as those at the 26 Sport Singapore (SportSG) swimming complexes, will be closed, as will public sports halls and private gyms and fitness studios.
• Country clubs will be closed, and Singapore’s 15 golf courses will be out of bounds from Tuesday.
• Hotels will have to shut their recreational facilities.
• If you live in a condominium, swimming pools and gyms there will also be out of bounds.
• Bowling centres and billiard halls, which had already stopped operating since last month, will remain shut.
• All is not lost. You can still get your exercise by running or walking around the neighbourhood. Head for uncrowded spaces and practise safe distancing when there are more people. Public parks and SportSG’s 17 open-air stadiums remain open.
• To give you an idea of how crowded a park is before heading out, check the National Parks Board’s map.
• There is always the option of working out at home by logging on to fitness classes online.
• Retail therapy can wait, right? In any case, big stores such as Takashimaya and Ikea, as well as boutiques and retail outlets, including chains like Uniqlo and Zara, will be shut.
•Veterinary services will be open to provide emergency and non-elective services, including hospitalisation of your pets.
•There is also no need to hoard pet food. Pet supplies stores will be open.
•Do note that you should not be sending your pets for grooming. But you can take them out to parks for runs.
• Please don’t.
• In any case, all museums and attractions such as the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and the Science Centre Singapore will be closed.
• Curious minds can continue to explore the digital platforms of these attractions. Find them on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
• Singapore’s two integrated resorts will also be shut, to varying degrees.
• Marina Bay Sands’ website says it will close the hotel, all attractions, including the ArtScience Museum, The Shoppes, food and beverage outlets, and the casino from Tuesday to Jun 1.
•Resorts World Sentosa will suspend its casino, Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island from tomorrow. It also will not take in new guests. But some eateries will remain open for take-away and deliveries. These include Malaysian Food Street, Pizzeria, Osia Steak and Seafood Grill, and Feng Shui Inn.
• Hair salons and barber services will be closed until Jun 1.
• Outlets that provide services such as facials, beauty treatments, as well as nail salons, will be shut.
• Bookstores will be closed.
• So, too, will all 25 public libraries from Tuesday till May 4. All on-site services, including book drops and reservation lockers, will be unavailable as well. Good news, though: If you have already borrowed a book, loan expiry dates will be extended until three weeks after the library reopens. No overdue fines will be imposed. The library’s digital services will also remain available on its website and app. This means you can continue to borrow e-books and audio books.
• The two casinos will be closed.
• Singapore Pools is also suspending all lottery draws and shutting its outlets from Tuesday until further notice.
• The Singapore Turf Club, which manages horse racing and betting, will suspend race meetings from Tuesday.
• But 4D lottery draws today will continue as planned. You can collect your prize payments until tomorrow. The prize claim period will be extended and more information on this will be provided later.
• Services that provide the repair of consumer electronics and household appliances will continue.
• Hardware stores selling building and maintenance-related equipment and tools will be open.
• Optician services and the sale of optical products will also be available.
• You can’t. Hotels are not allowed to accept new guests during this period.
• Selected hotels – as well as serviced apartments, dormitories and hostels – will continue to be open to house those returning to Singapore who have to be on stay-home notice. But even in these hotels, all recreation facilities will be shut, and food and beverage facilities can offer only takeaway or delivery services.
• Telcos will continue to operate.
• You will still get your mobile and Internet access and can also watch TV and listen to the radio. The Sunday Times understands that telcos’ outlets will remain open.
• No change to postal services and mail – and newspaper – delivery.