Further Easing Of Circuit Breaker Measures Possible From 1 June: Gov't
As for families who wish to visit immediate family members living in different households, the team is "studying this very carefully".
Citing promising results from the implementation of the Circuit Breaker measures aimed to at reducing COVID-19 cases in the community, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong at a press conference on 12 May said the Circuit Breaker measures may be further eased from 1 June. This comes after the recent easing of the tightened measures earlier this month.
“If all goes well, we will be in a position to consider our next moves to ease some of the circuit breaker measures after 1 June.”
Further Easing of Restrictions Possible From 1 June
According to the health minister, the number of new cases in the community has continued to fall from an average of over 30 new cases daily in mid-April to 8 new cases daily in the past week.
Mr Gan also noted the improving situation in migrant worker dormitories. Numbers have decreased from an average of more than 1,000 new cases a day in late April to an average of 700 cases per day in the last week.
National Development Minister Mr Lawrence Wong who co-chairs the task force, also shared figures of the average number of new cases in Singapore which proved a significant decrease in community cases.
Seeing how Singapore has made progress, with three weeks to go before the slated end of Circuit Breaker on 1 June, Mr Gan mentioned the possible easing of restrictions further beyond 1 June to allow more social and economic activities “to be restored.”
Even so, he cautioned against complacency and letting our guards down with the gradual lifting of Circuit Breaker measures as “there is a risk that community cases may rise again”.
“We do not expect by 1 June we will open everything and for everything to return to normal, and we begin to celebrate and have parties.” The easing of measures has to be done so in a “calibrated and careful way”.
This is because many countries have reported experiencing a second wave of infections after relaxing their social distancing measures, according to Mr Gan.
Even as some of the tighter measures are being eased progressively, other measures will remain such as safe distancing and safe management at workplaces.
More details will be shared by the Multi-ministry task force next week on plans to further ease measures as well as the economic sectors and businesses involved.
But for the first step, those in essential services are of priority.
A roadmap will be set up, involving “multiple phases and steps” with close monitoring of the situation.
The pace and extent of measures, however, are dependent on the progress Singapore makes in reducing infection cases throughout every step of the plan said, Mr Gan.
“If we have a big surge of cases right after the first step of opening, the progress will have to be slowed down. It may then become necessary to reintroduce some of the circuit breaker measures in keeping the number of cases low.”
Visiting Family Members in Different Households
As for families who wish to visit immediate family members living in different households, Mr Wong said in the press conference that the team is “studying this very carefully” as they recognise the need for connecting physically with loved ones.
However, when it comes to the elderly, Mr Wong cautioned against moving on such a measure as they are vulnerable to COVID-19 infections that are “potentially lethal for them”.
Authorities will assess the situation in the coming days and further details will be announced by the government.
“If there are still risks, then we may have to hold back on allowing such family visits for a while more and continue to maintain the current restrictions and safeguards even after Jun 1. It will not be an easy decision to make, but I hope Singaporeans understand that our primary aim is to protect our seniors and to save lives.”