Circuit Breaker Adjustments: What To Expect From 5 May
There are plans to bring students back to school in small groups for face-to-face lessons, with "focus initially on the graduating cohort that are taking national exams".
It has been a month or so since Circuit Breaker adjustments and measures have been implemented in Singapore. While these decisions have continued to cause a flurry of emotions and sentiments from the public, one thing is for certain when it comes to the efforts made to combat COVID-19: community transmissions has decreased significantly.
In light of the improving situation, Circuit Breaker measures will be eased gradually from 5 May according to the Multi-Ministry taskforce on Saturday (May 2) in a virtual press conference.
“Some minor adjustments” will be made, according to National Development Minister Mr Lawrence Wong. The minister, who co-chairs the task force, said the measures may be “further adjusted depending on how infections and situation unfolds in coming days and weeks”.
However, with these adjustments, Mr Wong warned: “This is not the time to slacken and let our guard down. We may be easing some measures but we must stay very disciplined and vigilant.”
Here is a broad outline of the measures that the government have mapped out, effective from 5 May.
Circuit Breaker Adjustments From 5 May
While most of the measures are said to be implemented from 12 May, from allowing home-based businesses and selected food retail outlets to resume operations among others, here is what to expect in the meantime:
Effective from 5 May
- TCM practitioners are allowed to administer needle acupuncture for pain management only if assessed by the TCM practitioner to be essential, said authorities.
- These exclude techniques such as cupping, moxibustion, gua sha and Tui Na manipulative therapies.
- Chinese medicine halls with registered TCM practitioners are also allowed to sell retail products.
- This is on top of the consultation and herbal dispensary services they are allowed to provide.
- Those living in Strata-titled residential buildings such as private condominiums may exercise within the common areas of these developments, such as footpaths for walking and running only.
- Facilities will remain closed such as gyms, swimming pools and playgrounds.
- Same rules that apply in public areas will also apply in condominiums, which means that residents will have to wear a mask while walking on the grounds and avoid hanging out in groups.
- Enforcement officers will continue to run routine checks to ensure that rules are complied with. Residents must continue to adhere to safe distancing measures.
Effective from 12 May
According to Mr Wong, selected activities and services can resume operations. They include:
- Home-based businesses (for takeaway or delivery only)
- Delivery and collection should be made in a contactless manner, with prior appointment made.
- Manufacturing and onsite preparation of food
- Includes cakes and confectionery, ice cream, chocolate, snacks among others.
- Selected food retail outlets (for takeaway or delivery only)
- Includes cakes and confectionery, packaged snacks and desserts among others.
- Retail laundry services
- Barbers and hairdressers (for basic haircut services only)
- Pet supply stores
You can view the detailed listing of essential services allowed to operate, here: https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/essentialservices/
Effective from 19 May
Mr Wong said that there are plans to bring students back to school in small groups for face-to-face lessons, with “focus initially on the graduating cohort that are taking national exams”.
He mentioned that priority will be given to those who require school facilities for their coursework and practical sessions as well as those who need additional support during the school vacation period.
“The Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs), particularly the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), will also bring back small groups of students on campus for critical consultations, projects or practicums,” he added.
Mr Wong also said that Singaporeans and residents can also expect a “gradual opening” to the economy and work premises.
Key requirements will be put in place with stricter guidelines and requirements for safe management within the workplaces, including enforcement of safe distancing measures.
Before the opening up of more work premises, Mr Wong said that the team is “working out the specific measures and [they] will engage the industry associations and business chambers” to enforce these requirements strictly.
Despite these measures to be put in place, Mr Wong reiterates: “Remember, we are not out of the woods. There are still unlinked and undetected cases circulating and we do not want to risk a flare-up of the virus again.”
He urged the public to stay at home unless for “only absolutely essential activities”; to go out alone if possible, refrain from going out in groups even within the same household.
“It is far from over. It is going to be a long fight and the virus can flare up again any time.”
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