Singapore Will Review Current P2HA Measures In Early August
By National Day, Singapore is set to see 2/3 of the population – as well as 3/4 of senior citizens aged 70 and above – fully vaccinated.
This means we can expect a review of Phase 2 Heightened Alert (P2HA) measures. However, only fully vaccinated people can benefit from this.
Finance Minister Lawrence Wong laid out a few activities Singapore residents can look forward to once the country has achieved a vaccination rate of 70%.
This includes dining in, working out at the gym, and attending large-scale events with over 100 people.
Easing of P2HA measures only for fully vaccinated people
In his ministerial statement in Parliament today, Minister Wong said Singapore could ease P2HA measures once targeted vaccination rates are hit, and the clusters are under control.
However, the easing is only for vaccinated persons as they have better protection against the virus, he said.
If you want to dine out, work out in the gym, or attend events with more than 100 people, you will have to be fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated people may travel without 14-day SHN
Minister Wong added that we can expect 80% of our population vaccinated with 2 doses by early September. This would allow for further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, including allowing large groups to gather and reopening our borders for travel.
Singapore will first begin with establishing travel corridors with countries that have managed Covid-19 well, and of which their situation is similarly under control.
Fully vaccinated people may not need to serve the full 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) when they return. This depends on the level of risk at their country of visit.
Those who aren’t vaccinated can still travel, but they will still be subjected to prevailing quarantine requirements.
Potential spike in Covid-19 cases when Singapore reopens
When Singapore reopens, Minister Wong preempts that we can expect to see more Covid-19 cases and new clusters break out due to increased activity levels.
“We will see more imported cases and infected persons slipping through from time to time.
“But at that stage, our main focus will no longer be on daily case numbers because the vast majority by then would have been vaccinated, and they’re less likely to become ill.
“Our focus will be on the small group of people who need intensive care or oxygen support. If severe illnesses shoot up, we will have to be prepared to slow down,” he said.
More powerful variants may emerge
Singapore would also have to brace itself for the emergence of new variants that are more powerful against current vaccines.
When that happens, booster shots will have to be rolled out. “But we must be prepared that these new variants could lead to more severe outbreaks,” said Minister Wong.
Hence, the authorities will have to introduce restrictions again from time to time to keep the situation under control.
There are still “considerable uncertainties” in the future, but Minister Wong highlights that vaccination is key, especially vaccination for senior citizens.
Safe management measures will remain relevant
Even with high vaccination rates, safe management measures will remain relevant and important.
Minister Wong stressed that basic safety measures like wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance from others can reduce transmission effectively.
We may consider dispensing our masks when outdoors, but when in an indoor environment, masks must be on.
And, of course, there will still be regular enforcement checks on businesses to ensure that all rules are adhered to. The authorities will not hesitate to take strict actions against those who break the rules.
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Featured image by MS News.