Singapore will gradually reopen in three phases.
At long last, it’s the news we’ve been waiting to hear: Singapore’s circuit breaker period will end on 1 June and the country will steadily ease its safety measures from 2 June. However, we’ve all got a part to play in maintaining safe distancing, as the rules could be tightened once more if community cases spike again.
The government announced on 19 May that we will reopen in three phases. This is to allow for quick identification of cases and clamping down on clusters as activities resume. But do remember to continue wearing your face masks, practising good personal hygiene, and keeping a good distance from other commuters on public transport. Read on to find out what to expect in the coming months as the circuit breaker ends.
Phase 1: Safe Re-opening
Time period: At least four weeks
Economic activities that don’t have a high risk of transmission will progressively reopen. Work from home is still the norm, but more Singaporeans can return to the office, including businesses like motor vehicle servicing, aircon servicing, basic pet services, and all treatments at hair salons. But social and entertainment activities will remain shut, so don’t expect to shop at retail outlets or dine in at restaurants (that means no bubble tea for now). Find the entire list of permitted services here.
Wearing a mask is still mandatory, and keep in mind to only leave home for the essential stuff. The elderly should stay in as much as possible, though families can visit their parents or grandparents as long as it’s limited to one visit each day, with a maximum of two people from the same visiting household at one time. Parents can now send children to their grandparents’ homes for childcare.
This phase will see the reopening of places of worship – but only for private worship. Social gatherings are still discouraged. Marriage solemnisations, funerals and wakes can continue with a maximum of 10 people in the same space. Senior activity centres will slowly open their doors once again to help those who need support.
Essential healthcare services will resume – these include medical procedures, community-based services and chronic disease management. Preventive health services like flu vaccinations and traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture will be available as well.
Primary and secondary school students in graduating cohorts will restart classes, while other cohorts rotate between home-based learning and going to school. Masks are still mandatory, and don’t expect to have enrichment or tuition activities just yet.
Phase 2: Safe Transition
Time period: Several months, depending on the situation
Singapore will only start this phase if community cases remain low and the rate of transmission in migrant worker dormitories stabilise. Once again, measures will be lifted in stages.
What can you expect to do during this time? Have social gatherings in small groups, dine in at F&B outlets, shop at retail stores, head to the gym or fitness studio, and resume tuition and enrichment activities. Sports, recreation and outdoor facilities will reopen as well. All students will return to school, while institutes of higher learning can welcome back more students on campus.
Phase 3: Safe Nation
Time period: Until a vaccine is developed
By this stage, we’re expected to be living in our new normal. We’re likely to stay in this phase until the existence of a vaccine. All social, cultural, religious, and business gatherings would have resumed, but the number of people allowed in the same space will still be limited. Places that involve close contact in crowds such as cinemas, theatres, spas, massage parlours, bars, pubs and nightclubs would have reopened. Seniors can also go back to their daily routine, while maintaining safe distancing.
Singapore will gradually – and with precaution – open our borders as well, to allow for essential overseas activities and foreigners to enter or transit here.
Life won’t be 100% normal as you used to know it, but we’ll all have to play our part in keeping the community safe.