With current ‘circuit breaker’ measures ongoing for the third week now, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has made another announcement on Tuesday (21 April) to update Singaporeans on the next steps. Covid-19 Circuit Breakers
In light of increasing COVID-19 infections detected in migrant worker dormitories, with over 1,100 new cases reported just today alone, PM Lee states that there will be an extension of the current ‘circuit breaker’ to 1 June instead of the originally stated 4 May.
“We want to bring down the community numbers decisively,” said PM Lee. In addition to the extension of the ‘circuit breaker’, PM Lee mentioned that most workplaces will be closed down, except for the truly essential service sectors.
Previously, Mr Lee asked for everyone to bear with these “painful adjustments” involving the ‘no dining out’ rule, shifting all schools and institutes of higher learning to full home-based learning, among many others.
In the face of these additional measures implemented, we understand it can be overwhelming for some, if not many. Here, we share a list of what you can or cannot do during this crucial period to help you better transition into this new norm.
COVID-19 Circuit Breakers see a move towards preventing a COVID-19 outbreak. | Photo: iStock
COVID-19 Circuit Breakers: A Comprehensive Guide
NEW UPDATE on easing of circuit breaker measures from 5 May, READ HERE.
|| What does it involve & possible restrictions?
- All preschools, MOE Kindergartens and student care centres, including special student care centres, will be closed (effective until 1 June 2020 until further notice)
- Parents/guardians who are working in essential services and are unable to find alternative care arrangements can still receive help
- Selected care services will still be open (parents, please check with your respective school)
- All schools (primary, secondary, Junior Colleges), institutes of higher learning and Special Education schools will continue engaging in home-based learning -students will be taught by their teachers online (effective until 1 June 2020 until further notice)
- *NEW: Small groups of students will be brought back to campus for face-to-face lessons with priority given to graduating cohort. This is also applicable to The Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs), particularly the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), for critical consultations, projects or practicums
- Mid-year exams will be cancelled
- National exams will carry on (Mid-year O- and A-level mother tongue exams, PSLE and final-year exams)
- Enrichment classes put on hold (Face-to-face tuition, piano, dance etc)
- *NEW: June school holidays to start from May 5 to cover extended circuit breaker period
The revised academic calendar is as follows:
- May 5 to June 1: School holidays
- June 2: Start of Term 3 (school reopens)
- July 20 to 26: Mid-term break
- Sept 6: End of Term 3
- Most workplaces will be closed except for essential services and key economic sectors such as clinics, hospitals, supermarkets and key banking services among others. Social distancing measures should still be observed, reducing physical meetings, etc
- Work continues as usual for employees if given the option to telecommute or work-from-home (for truly essential services)
- *NEW: Reopening of home-based businesses (for takeaway or delivery only)
- Delivery and collection should be made in a contactless manner, with prior appointment made.
- *NEW: Gradual opening up of economy and work premises with strict safe distancing measures implemented
- Petrol stations operate as usual
- If you drive, Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges—at all gantries—will halt until 1 June
- Taxi or private-hire car services remain as per normal
- You can still take the public buses and MRT as per usual
Food / daily necessities
Take-away and delivery only
- Dining out will no longer be an option. Food and beverages outlets (restaurants, hawker centres, coffee shops, food courts – limited food outlets) will be available for takeaway and delivery only.
- Bakeries that mainly sells bread will still be open for takeaway
- *NEW: Selected food outlets will resume operations (for takeaway or delivery only)—mostly snack and dessert-based—as well as food manufacturers. They include:
- Predominantly beverage outlets (e.g. bubble tea shops, fruit juice, smoothies and soya bean; alcoholic beverages; coffee and tea)
- Predominantly packaged snack outlets (nuts, potato chips, popcorn, bak kwa and cheese)
- Confectionery and dessert stores (red/ green bean soup, grass jelly, ice cream, yogurt, cakes, cupcakes, waffles, chocolate, cookies, sweet pastries and donuts)
- All F&B outlets in parks
View the full list of essential services here.
You can consider options like Foodpanda, Deliveroo and GrabFood.
- You can still get your groceries from supermarkets, wet markets, provision shops etc. Do remember to practise social distancing, even at wet markets
- *NEW: Restricted wet market entry to 4 popular wet markets:
- Geylang Serai Market
- Chong Pang Market at Blk 104/105 Yishun Ring Rd
- Market at Blk 20/21 Marsiling Lane
- Market at Blk 505 Jurong West St 52
*based on last digit of shoppers’ NRIC numbers
-Last digit that ends with an even number (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8) can enter only on even-numbered dates of the month.
-Last digit that ends with an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9) can enter only on odd-numbered dates of the month.
Visiting the doctor / health or aesthetic services
YES, services available.
- You can still visit your nearby general practitioner clinics (GPs) and polyclinics. Public and private hospitals, offsite specialist clinics and community hospitals remain open
- Dialysis services and other renal replacement services
- Blood donation services
- Available Traditional Chinese medicine treatments (TCM) – only adjuvant therapy for cancer and chronic conditions
- *NEW: Needle acupuncture for pain management by TCM practitioners only—and assessed by the TCM practitioner to be essential.
- These exclude techniques such as cupping, moxibustion, gua sha and Tui Na manipulative therapies.
- Senior befriending and counselling services – only if offered remotely
- Veterinary services (emergency and non-elective services, including hospitalisation of pets)
*You should not be sending your pets for grooming
NO, services not available.
- Annual health screening
- Aesthetic services such as cataract surgery (including Botox fix)
- Outpatient rehabilitation therapy
Other essential services
YES, still in operation.
- Banking services – if you need to withdraw money (online services, bank branches and ATMs)
- Repair services – consumer electronics and household appliances
- Hardware stores – for sale of building and maintenance-related equipment and tools only
- Plumbers, electricians, locksmiths and vehicle recovery and repair (for emergency household services only)
- Postal and mail services
- Waste collection and disposal services
- *NEW: Retail laundry services
- *NEW: Barbers and hairdressers (for basic haircut services only)
- *NEW: Pet supplies stores (through online sales or delivery only)
Closed, or limited operation
- Funeral-related services will continue (with safe distancing measures implemented)
*All government-managed columbaria will be closed (until 1 June 2020). Choa Chu Kang Cemetery will remain open for burials, and Mandai Crematorium will remain open for cremation services
- Personal grooming services such as facials, beauty treatments, as well as nail salons, will continue to be shut
- *NEW: Optician services (and sale of products) operates by appointment only
- Hospital visits: you may visit wards but number of visitors are controlled during the period of stay. Do check with the hospital or visit their website for details
*Note: You are advised to to put on your own surgical mask when entering the ward
- Relatives or friends: it is not advised to make visits and engage in socialising activities (apart from your own household) during this crucial period, especially in protecting the health of seniors
- All places of worship will be closed. However, funeral rites may still be conducted where necessary.
- Suspension of singing, dancing and exercises classes at community centres. Online programmes are still available
- All ActiveSG facilities will be closed until June 1. Sports and recreational centres are also shut, including swimming facilities, fitness studios, private gyms and bowling centres
- *NEW: Facilities in strata-titled residential buildings such as private condominiums remain closed, including gyms and swimming pools but common footpaths will be opened for walking and running.
- Residents will have to wear a mask while walking on the grounds and avoid hanging out in groups
- Physical shopping activities will not possible
- Refrain from taking your kids out for leisure or recreational activities (all museums and attractions including ArtScience museum and Science Centre Singapore will be closed)
- Marina Bay Sands will shut its services, including hotels, attractions and F&B outlets
- Resorts World Sentosa F&B outlets are only open for take-away
- Staycations will be suspended – hotels will not accept new guests during this period
- Bookstores and all public libraries & services will be closed from Tuesday until 1 June.
If you have already borrowed a book, loan expiry dates will be extended until three weeks after the library reopens. No overdue fines will be imposed. You can continue to access and borrow e-resources and gain access to other services through their app.
You can view the detailed listing of essential services allowed to operate, here: https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/essentialservices/
With this move put in place, it will help prevent escalating infections, said Mr Lee and everyone has a part to play by taking social distancing very seriously.
COVID-19 Circuit Breakers: Medical facilities, personnel and supplies will continue to experience strain if efforts to prevent further escalation of COVID-19 do not improve. | Photo: iStock
Previously, in a span of a day (5 April), Singapore was hit with a whopping 120 new COVID-19 cases, involving two foreign worker dormitories—a record high of cases involving a 3-digit jump.
This signals that we have to be stronger as a community, and walking the talk to protect our loved ones.
[More updates coming, please refresh]
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