Singapore has moved into the first phase of reopening, after the end of the circuit breaker on Monday. Phase one, which started on Tuesday, will last at least four weeks (here’s what you can or cannot do during Phase 1).
Some restrictions have been eased, but others remain the same as during the circuit breaker. The Straits Times answers some questions about what you can do during the first phase.
A: The reusable face masks given out to all Singapore residents during the third mask distribution exercise can become discoloured if they are washed improperly.
The masks require special care and should be hand washed with room-temperature water and mild soap before being hung up to dry, a spokesman for the manufacturer told The Straits Times. They should not be soaked, washed with detergent, bleached or wrung dry.
“If there is discolouration of the mask, it means the anti-bacterial barrier is broken and the mask should be replaced immediately,” the spokesman added. “We are offering a one-time one-for-one exchange for consumers who did not understand the care instructions.”
The People’s Association said discoloured masks can be exchanged for new ones at the mask collection counters in community clubs and centres during the mask distribution exercise, which runs till June 14.
A: Yes. It is still mandatory to wear a mask in public unless you are exercising or in your own car.
This means anyone commuting on public transport, going out for essential activities such as buying food or working must wear a mask.
This applies to all workers and workplaces, regardless of whether there is any interaction with customers.
A: No. In phase one of the post-circuit breaker period, seniors can receive up to two visitors from the same household, including children being dropped off for care.
But seniors should not leave their homes to visit their family members because there will likely be a higher risk of community transmission during phase one, the Health Ministry has said.
“We will not allow seniors to visit their children because we want seniors to stay at home as much as possible,” Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said during a news conference on May 19.
“So, you should not leave your home and visit your children, and hop from household to household. This will increase exposure unnecessarily to the risk of infection.”
Large gatherings such as group dinners with friends or family members who are not from the same household are also still not allowed during phase one.
A: No. Social distancing rules prohibiting interaction between those who do not live in the same household continue to apply.
This means carpooling is still not allowed in phase one, regardless of whether it involves any commercial transaction. However, school bus services are allowed to operate.
A: There is no change to the policy for those re-entering Singapore after the circuit breaker period.
Singaporeans and permanent residents are allowed to enter, but will be issued a 14-day SHN. They will be taken directly to the dedicated facilities upon landing at the airport.
Long-term pass holders who are planning to enter or return to Singapore must first obtain permission from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. Short-term visitors are still not allowed entry.
All travellers, regardless of nationality, must submit a health declaration via the SG Arrival Card e-service before they commence their journey to Singapore.
Anyone who disregarded prevailing travel advisories and left Singapore on or after March 27 will have to bear the full cost of their SHN.
A: Yes, provided you are able to arrange transport, and the destination country is allowing travellers to enter. But if you get Covid-19 overseas, develop symptoms within 14 days of returning and require medical treatment in Singapore, you will have to bear the full, unsubsidised cost of the treatment. This policy has not changed.
A: That remains to be seen. Malaysia’s movement control order, which prohibits Malaysians from leaving and foreigners from entering the country, is still in effect, at least until June 9. The Malaysian authorities said on Monday they had yet to decide whether to lift the order or extend it.
A: No, golf courses and other sports and recreation facilities such as public swimming pools are not permitted to reopen.
A No, but you can apply for a new passport online at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) website.
While the ICA Building has resumed limited counter services that cannot be done or completed online, such as collection of passports and identity cards (ICs), this will be by appointment only.
You can book an appointment via ICA’s e-Appointment Service here or via the eAPPT@ICA mobile application.
For services that are not available on the e-Appointment Service, you can book an appointment here.
There is no need to rush to the ICA Building to collect your passport or IC as the deadline for collection has been extended to Sept 30.
A one-time delivery of your IC or passport will be arranged by ICA for free, if you applied between Jan 1 and May 31 for an IC under the mandatory/optional IC re-registration or a new passport to replace an expiring passport after receiving ICA’s notification letter.
ICA will contact you to provide more details of this service from mid-June to end-July. If you need your document urgently, you can collect it by making an appointment via ICA’s e-Appointment Service.
Applicants for Singapore citizenship, permanent residence and long-term visit passes who were unable to complete their formalities during the circuit breaker period will have more time to do so, as the validity of their in-principle approval has been extended to June 30.
A Standalone bubble tea shops that sell predominantly beverages are still not allowed to open.
However, you can still get your bubble tea fix via online delivery services, where popular bubble tea chains such as LiHo and Koi have partnered with food outlets.
Other food establishments can open, but only for takeaways and deliveries. Dine-in services are still not allowed.
A Only those that operate using a delivery or collection model are allowed to resume. Deliveries, emergency repairs, installations or air-conditioner servicing can be conducted. Other businesses should not involve meeting clients in person at their homes.
A Yes. You can also send your car for other repairs, such as bodywork repair, spraying and painting, as well as installation of parts and accessories.
A No. Flying of outdoor recreational unmanned aircraft is not permitted.
For unmanned aircraft operations for business purposes, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said it will issue a permit only if the drone is being operated for services permitted during phase one, such as security services, and where operations are done in settings with low transmission risk, such as open fields.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.