Monday (June 1) will be the last day of Singapore's eight-week Covid-19 circuit breaker shutdown. Restrictions will be progressively eased in three phases.
Here's a list of what is allowed under Phase 1 which starts on Tuesday. The government will review in mid-June to see when Phase 2 can begin.
- The default mode of working for all companies - including those allowed to resume operations in Phase 1 and later Phase 2 - is working from home, says the Manpower Ministry (MOM).
- Employees now working from home must continue to do so. They should go to the office only where there is no alternative, like if they need specialised equipment that can't be assessed from home. Checks will be conducted, says MOM.
- Safe distancing measures must be implemented in the workplace for those who are there.
- For offices, this includes the wearing of masks inside the premises, no gatherings with colleagues during meals or breaks, and no cross-deployment of workers.
- For manufacturing, cleaning and disinfection of all equipment must be stepped up, among other things.
- For shops, the SafeEntry digital check-in system must be in place, floors must be marked to show queue lines and common spaces and items must be regularly disinfected.
- Companies must be able to show why staff who return are unable to work from home.
- Pre-schools will open in phases from Tuesday (June 2) with different cohorts returning on different dates.
- Safe distancing measures will be in place. For example, staff can't cross deploy staff across centres, and the use of common areas and facilities by different classes must be staggered.
- Parents who need caregiving support may approach the pre-school to work out an arrangement.
- Staff and children can wear either a face mask or face shield. Children aged below two are not required to wear a mask.
- All primary, secondary, junior college (JC) and Millennia Institute (MI) students will return to school from Tuesday (June 2).
- Most students in primary and secondary schools will alternate between being physically in school and home-based learning, on a weekly basis.
- There will be a cap on the number of JC and MI students allowed in school at any one time, with a system of rotation to ensure that all students have adequate face time with teachers. This will take place for a few weeks at least.
- Going back to school is compulsory unless the student has specific medical conditions.
- Safe distancing measures will be put in place in schools. For example, all students and teachers must wear either a mask or a face shield. Hand-washing will be stepped up and surfaces wiped down after use. Tables will be placed apart from each other in an exam-style seating arrangement. Arrival, dismissal and recess timings will be staggered.
- Students from the Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore University of Technology and Design will continue having lectures and tutorials online and will return primarily for practical and lab sessions, including capstone and final-year projects.
- The other autonomous universities, including the National University of Singapore, will be having their vacation, and will resume term around August or September.
Tuition and Enrichment Classes
- Centres remain closed in Phase 1; online lessons can continue.
- Face-to-face lessons by private tutors continue to be disallowed. Online lessons can continue.
- Everyone must wear a mask when he leaves home. First-time offenders will face a composition fine of $300, and $1,000 if they do it again. If they are prosecuted, they can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.
- Masks - not face shields - should be worn on buses and trains as it may be difficult to ensure safe distancing measures inside.
- Safe distancing should be observed. Commuters should try and stand on the green stickers placed on buses and trains; they can't sit on seats labelled with orange stickers.
- All motor workshop services will resume.
- If you are looking to buy a car, note that showrooms will remain closed and test-drives are not allowed either. But cars can still be delivered to you if you choose to buy one online.
- Driving lessons are still disallowed.
- Eating-in at hawker centres, restaurants and most canteens continue to be disallowed.
- These outlets, as well as food caterers, can continue to operate to offer takeaway and delivery options.
- Outlets selling mainly beverages, such as alcohol and bubble tea, remain closed.
Shops and Services
- Most retail outlets - such as department stores and shops in malls and the heartlands - will remain closed. They can continue to do business online. Retailers should try to opt for contactless pick-up, where items are placed at designated locations for delivery staff to pick up.
- Wet markets, supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) medical halls and hair salons remain open.
- Shops that are open must have safe distancing measures like SafeEntry.
- School bookshops and shops selling school uniforms will open.
- More bank branches will open.
- Money changers can operate if they have safe distancing measures in place and get the necessary approvals.
- Servicing/repair of air-conditioners is allowed.
- More healthcare services will be open with priority given to patients with more urgent medical needs.
- Treatment for advanced cataracts, hand surgery, teeth scaling and polishing, fillings, crowns, dentures and orthodontic treatments will be allowed.
- Flu vaccinations and pre-enlistment screening will be allowed. But chronic disease and cancer screening under the Health Promotion Board's Screen For Life programme will resume in Phase 2.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine needle acupuncture, ayurvedic, chiropractic, osteopathic and other forms of traditional and complementary services for management of medical conditions and the relief of symptoms are allowed.
- Procedures that only alter appearances - such as Botox and fillers - continue to be disallowed.
- In hospitals, visitors from up to two households will be allowed for patients. However, a maximum of five visitors will be allowed to pre-register, and only one person will be able to visit at a time. Hospitals may introduce further measures to space out visits and avoid crowding.
- Visits to residential care homes, including nursing homes, continue to be suspended.
- Seniors should continue to stay at home but their children and grandchildren can visit, within limits.
- Seniors can receive up to two visitors once a day. Both visitors must be from the same household.
- Elderly folk who do not have children can appeal to the Ministry of Health for their siblings, nieces and nephews to visit them.
- More service centres/counters will open but operate by appointment only. They include those at:
- HDB Hub, HDB branches
- Central Provident Fund
- MOMs Employment Pass Services Centre
- Libraries remain closed.
- Community clubs (CCs) remain closed. But people can still apply for financial aid at all CCs and reset their SingPass at selected ones.
- Part-time cleaners are still not allowed into people's homes.
- Most home renovation works that were suspended because of the circuit breaker can restart, subject to approval by the authorities.
- New renovation projects will not be allowed for now.
- Property viewings can only be done virtually.
- Property agents as well as insurance agents can't meet clients face to face, except when legally required to complete a transaction. The meeting must be in the office of the real estate company or insurer.
Sports and Outdoor Activities
- If you need to exercise (walk, jog, cycle), you must still only do so in your neighbourhood.
- You can now exercise with household members. But you can't gather to exercise with others not from your household.
- You must wear a mask when you set out, and while you may remove it when doing strenuous exercise, you should put it back on once that is done.
- Fishing areas, fitness corners and playgrounds in parks remain shut.
- The beaches at East Coast Park, Changi Beach Park, Pasir Ris Park, Punggol Point, Sembawang Park and West Coast Park remain closed.
- Stadiums, public swimming pools, games courts and other fitness areas remain closed.
- Pools and fitness facilities in condominiums remain closed.
- Private gyms remain closed.
- Country club facilities like pools and golf courses remain closed.
- Private worship will now be allowed in small groups of no more than five people per household, and no more than five households at any one time.
- Religious rites and ceremonies are still not allowed, except for marriage solemnisations and funeral-related activities. They can involve up to 10 people, excluding the solemniser or religious workers.
- Families may continue to install niches in columbaria in places of worship.
- All government-managed columbaria, including Mandai Columbarium, will remain closed for now.
Leisure and Other Social Activities
- You still can't visit or meet up with anyone living in a different household. If caught, you face a composition fine of $300. Repeat offenders will face higher fines, or prosecution in court for egregious cases.
- Bars, pubs, nightclubs, theatres and cinemas remain shut. They are deemed higher-risk because they draw crowds in an enclosed space.
- All arts facilities and venues, including museums, art galleries and all indoor and outdoor performance venues such as concert halls, are still shut.
- Leisure travel is not allowed. But essential travel may be allowed to resume. For instance, Singapore and China will launch a fast-track immigration arrangement early in June to facilitate essential travel for business and official purposes between the two countries. The arrangement would first apply to Singapore and six provinces or municipalities directly under the Chinese central government - Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Singapore is also in talks with a few other countries to work out similar arrangements.
- Staycations in local hotels are still disallowed.
- Hair salons can now provide all services, including colour treatments that were disallowed under the circuit breaker.
- Spas, massages, facial threading, foot reflexology, facials and manicures continue to be disallowed.
- Basic grooming, animal physiotherapy and rehabilitation services now allowed, but by appointment.
- Cosmetic services like styling of pets' fur and spa baths are a no-no.
- Non-essential services such as pet-sitting, daycare for animals, walking, boarding and the sale of pets still prohibited.
And what to expect in Phase 2
If the number of community cases remain low and under control, Phase 2 of the reopening could happen before the end of June. Some details that have been revealed:
- All students will be able to resume face-to-face lessons in schools, without the need for home-based learning.
- Institutes of Higher Learning will gradually increase the number of students back on campus at any one time for face-to-face learning.
- More businesses and services will be allowed to open, including retail shops and consumer services.
- More home-based services, such as private tuition or home-based hair salons, may be able to resume, as well as personal health and wellness services like spas, massage centres and fitness studios.
Leisure and Social Activities
- People will be able to gather in small groups of up to five. Within the home, each household may receive up to five visitors.
- But big events like conferences, concerts, religious services and trade fairs may take longer to resume in Phase 2.
- Karaoke outlets, cinemas, arts venues and other attractions may also need more time.
- Under Phase 2, you will be able to eat at restaurants and hawker centres. But each table will be limited to five people. If there are more people, they will have to sit at a different table.
Sports and Outdoor Activities
- Sports facilities and public venues like stadiums and swimming pools will re-open in Phase 2.
- Travelling for leisure will still be disallowed in Phase 2.
If you have a question about what you can do from June 2, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.
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