Phase 2 Could Start Before End June, With Almost Entire Economy Reopening
Covid-19 has definitely caused a lot of uncertainty. With no clear indication on how long the pandemic will affect day-to-day life, citizens have been on tenterhooks, waiting for life to go on as per normal.
However, the Singapore government has been trying its best to provide some clarity on how the nation will move forward.
By mid-June, the government will decide whether Singapore can move on to Phase 2 of its reopening plan.
This was announced by Minister For National Development Lawrence Wong, at a media briefing on Thursday (28 May).
If Covid-19 infection rates in the first 2 weeks of June remain low and stable, Phase 2 could start before the end of June.
Gatherings of up to 5 pax allowed
During Phase 2, citizens must continue to wear masks when outdoors.
However, small gatherings of up to 5 participants will be allowed. For home visits, each household may receive up to 5 visitors per day.
According to Mr Wong, the cap of 5 is not a magic number, but one that was agreed upon after risk assessment.
He explained that if an infection were to happen in a group of 5, the cluster would be limited to the group and other close contacts.
If the figure is set to 10 people, both the cluster and the multiplier of people involved would be larger.
Hence, Mr Wong concludes,
We think that five is a reasonable balance, looking at the assessment of risk and…the situation that we are in today.
More services to reopen in Phase 2
In general, Phase 2 will also see retail shops and consumer services resuming operations. This includes dining in at F&B establishments.
Sports facilities like swimming pools, gyms and stadiums are also expected to reopen.
However, activities in higher-risk settings such as cinemas, bars, clubs and park will require a more “cautious” approach.
As such, these venues might not all resume operations at the start of Phase 2.
The government will discuss safeguards and measures with businesses and operators to hopefully advance the resumption of these services.
Singapore looking to reopen borders
According to TODAY Online, Mr Wong also shared that Singapore is in talks with other countries on how to safely reopen borders.
While he did not specify which countries, he says that this would allow essential travel to resume, especially for business whose employees are required to travel regionally.
However, he emphasises that this does not mean that the government allows mass market travel.
Cross our fingers and hope for Phase 2
Based on Covid-19 figures in the past few days, Singapore looks to be on track for the early implementation of Phase 2.
However, we all know that the situation can take a turn for the worse at the slightest slip up.
Let’s not fail at this critical juncture, and keep up our efforts in combating Covid-19.
Featured image by MS News.