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Singapore to gradually ease 'circuit breaker' measures from May 12

Some positive news as Singapore is set to resume some business operations and ease 'circuit breaker' measures

Dewi Nurjuwita
Written by
Dewi Nurjuwita

The Covid-19 multi-ministry task force has announced that Singapore is in a position to start the gradual easing of 'circuit breaker' measures, following the falling number of community cases in Singapore over the past few days. 

Speaking at a virtual press conference on May 2, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced that some businesses will resume operations from May 12. This includes home-based food businesses, selected food retail outlets, and food manufacturing firms. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) needle acupuncture will also be allowed to continue operations from May 5, only if assessed by the TCM practitioner to be essential. Additionally, the authorities will also start bringing back students taking national examinations and graduating in small groups for in-person lessons in May. There'll also be a gradual resumption of selected activities and services over the next few weeks. 

To continue with the contact tracing efforts in the community, all businesses and services that are allowed to resume operations on May 12 must deploy the SafeEntry system to log the check-in of employees and visitors. SafeEntry is a national digital check-in system which logs in your entry into a venue – which is why carrying around your identification with you when you have to head out of home is important. If there is a confirmed case at that location or venue, contact tracing can be sped up using information from SafeEntry, which also helps prevent new clusters from forming. 

At the moment, SafeEntry is mandatory at all workplaces like offices and factories, schools and educational institutions, healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, hairdressers, supermarkets, malls, hotels and more. SafeEntry will also be rolled out to taxis from May 12. Places like pharmacies, convenience stores and provision shops are encouraged – but not required – to implement SafeEntry for customers. F&B outlets, on the other hand, are not required to deploy SafeEntry for customers for now, as they are only open for delivery and takeaway.

The positive news follows Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's May Day message on May 1, who acknowledged that news cases in the community have been decreasing. Regarding the next steps Singapore will take, PM Lee said that the economy will open "step by step" even after 'circuit breaker' measures are relaxed. 

While we can look forward to home-baked pastries and some of our favourite businesses operating again, the rest of the 'circuit breaker' measures still stand – and will remain enforced till June 1. But let's hold on to the glimpse of hope, as Mr Gan added that the government will be able to further roll back some of the measures if the community transmission is "clearly under control." 

If you need something to keep you occupied at home, check out these virtual streams by local theatre groups or our daily round-ups of the best things to do at home.  

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