Follow New Covid-19 Measures As We Celebrate CNY: PM Lee

Authorities have recently revealed tighter measures for celebrating Chinese New Year this year, in light of a surge in community infections.

The new measures will mean that we can’t celebrate the upcoming CNY as we’d normally like, which might be disappointing — but we have to be prepared to celebrate differently, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Saturday (23 Jan).

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Incidentally, 23 Jan 2020 was also when Singapore confirmed our first Covid-19 case here. Talk about a throwback.

He urged Singaporeans to protect themselves and their loved ones by following the measures in the upcoming weeks.

New measures for celebrating CNY in 2021

CNY visiting can make for easy spread of Covid-19, and so authorities announced that there’ll be additional measures to protect against this.

Each household can only have up to 8 unique visitors a day, and visiting should be limited to 2 households a day and only family members.

8 Unique Visitors/Household Daily From 26 Jan, Can’t Shout ‘Huat Ah’ During CNY Lohei

The traditional yusheng-tossing will also be a little different, as we have to keep our masks on and “say (auspicious phrases) in your hearts instead”, PM Lee said.

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These are the full additional measures announced.

May be an image of text that says "Phase 3 CNY Updates from 26 Jan onwards 1 2 Up to people for gatherings Up to 8 visitors per household/day Visits limited to 2 households/day 5 6 Wear masks while tossing yusheng No shouting of phrases during lohei 7 Free Covid-19 tests for Chinatown F&B workers 8 9 Stricter enforcement checks in public places Vaccination for seniors from 27 Jan Free routine tests for essential workers till 30 Sep M-NEWS Feb -From8 Starting with Tanjong Pagar Extended from 31 Mar 2021"

We must celebrate CNY differently in 2021: PM Lee

Understandably, some may be disappointed at the new measures. Celebrations are traditionally boisterous affairs, after all.

But PM Lee stressed the need for us to celebrate differently this year, as there are surges in cases during this period.

We actually had our first confirmed Covid-19 case on 23 Jan 2020 — exactly a year ago.

There’s been plenty of disruption since, but with lots of effort and sacrifice, we’re in a stable situation heading into CNY, PM Lee noted.

He also said that we’re in the midst of vaccinating the population to inoculate ourselves against Covid-19.

Keeping safe during CNY

The Covid-19 outbreak started in Singapore around CNY last year.

We didn’t know back then that it was the last time we’d get to do many things — not least during the ‘Circuit Breaker’, when we were mostly confined to our homes.

Now a year has passed, and Covid-19 is a reality of life. While we’re currently able to do many things as normal, Chinese New Year won’t be one of these activities.

But if we don’t house-hop and keep our celebrations safe, we may be able to continue with our lives without even stricter measures.

We don’t know the price of freedom until after we lose it, after all.

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Featured image adapted from Shutterstock.