Remaining Covid-19 Restrictions May Be Lifted If Things Stay Stable: PM Lee In New Year Message

PM Lee Sounds Note of Optimism Over Covid-19 In New Year Message

As 2022 wound down, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong released a New Year Message to Singaporeans.

In it, he largely summed the year up, but also sounded an optimistic note over what might come with regard to Covid-19.

He said Singapore might lift our remaining Covid-19 restrictions if “things remain stable”.

Source: Lee Hsien Loong on Facebook

PM Lee releases New Year Message on 31 Dec

In his New Year Message released on Saturday (31 Dec), PM Lee said the authorities are watching the Covid-19 situation closely.

This is particularly concerning the year-end travel season and the surge in cases in China, as well as how they will affect us.

On Friday (30 Dec), the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported that a Singaporean became severely ill after returning from China, illustrating how Covid-19 may still affect us three years on.

S’porean Severely Ill From Covid-19 After Returning From China, MOH Closely Watching Global Situation

In the meantime, he strongly encouraged everyone to keep their vaccinations current and receive the latest bivalent vaccines.

Singapore may establish post-pandemic normalcy

While the situation is still under observation, he gave some good news.

Singapore “can take the final steps to lift the remaining social restrictions” if things remain stable despite the abovementioned risks, Mr Lee said.

This will establish normalcy in the nation, signalling the post-pandemic period.

Covid-19 Resilience Medal to be awarded

He also lauded those who directly helped in the Covid-19 fight, saying,

They answered the call of duty and more. They stepped forward to protect us all, often at considerable risk and sacrifice to themselves and their families.

For this, they’ll get the Covid-19 Resilience Medal, recipients of which have been announced in the Covid-19 national awards list.

Source: Lee Hsien Loong on Facebook

They deserve Singapore’s deepest gratitude, he added.

Singapore has a lot to be thankful for in 2022

Besides things getting back to normal after Covid-19, we have a lot to be thankful for in 2022, Mr Lee said.

Among these are:

  • Our first full-scale National Day Parade since the pandemic, as well as other festivals
  • Changi Airport is buzzing, and Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights are full, extending recovery to other sectors like F&B
  • Flagship international events can be hosted again, including the Shangri-La Dialogue and Singapore Grand Prix

Source: Singapore Grand Prix on Facebook

Singapore also made strides towards a more inclusive society, the PM said, rolling out policies to ensure that both sexes are protected and treated equally at home or at work.

We also repealed Section 377A, and he’s heartened that Singaporeans have responded with restraint and supported our balanced approach.

Looking to Singapore’s future

Looking ahead, Singapore’s future is being planned for in many ways, including major projects like:

  • The Tuas Port, which opened in September
  • Changi Airport Terminal 5
  • The Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) and the 11 new stations that opened in November

However, we must brace ourselves for the uncertainties ahead, as the international outlook remains troubled.

This includes the Russia-Ukraine conflict, United States-China tensions and perhaps a recession in the US and EU.

They will affect our economy, leading to forecasted slower growth of between 0.5-2.5% in 2023.

Singaporeans should stay united in the New Year: PM Lee

Mr Lee emphasised that Singaporeans should stay united as one people to face the storm.

After all, we have weathered the pandemic safely and emerged stronger, he noted.

This has resulted in many businesses and individuals wanting to set up shop here. So we must seize the moment, he said, adding,

Together, we will build a brighter future for Singapore and all Singaporeans.

Check out PM Lee’s full New Year Message here.

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Featured image adapted from Lee Hsien Loong on Facebook.

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