COVID-19 lockdown extended in Singapore until June 1
Singapore will extend its COVID-19 lockdown measures for another four weeks to June 1, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, announced on April 21. This comes after two weeks of Singapore going into a virtual lockdown that was meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Singapore confirmed 1,037 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday (Apr 23), taking the national total to 11,178. This was the fourth day in a row that Singapore has reported a daily increase of more than 1,000 cases.
Singapore COVID-19 lockdown extension
Singapore has had a low record of cases until the end of March 2020. The Lion City managed to do that by introducing strict measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak since the very beginning of the pandemic, which included travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and fast health services response.
While Singapore won early praise for its efforts and avoided taking stronger steps to limit public movement, the city-state has all but ground to a halt since measures were put in place early this month. This due to the new community outbreaks in the dormitories of foreign workers that skyrocketed the number of cases in the city-state. From April 5, Singapore put quarantine measures for foreign workers, but it seems it hasn’t stopped the virus spread. The lockdown which was set to expire on May 4 is now officially extended until June 1.
Singapore COVID-19 tighter lockdown measures and extension of the circuit breaker
With the announcement of the COVID-19 ‘circuit breaker’ period being extended to June 1, the restrictions are expected to be even tighter. Here’s what you need to know.
Essential services that are allowed to operate on-site have been tightened.
The number of businesses allowed to operate at their work premises will be reduced, especially businesses that are less critical for daily living or to maintain essential supply chains. For example, all hairdressing salons, and standalone outlets that only sell beverages, packaged snacks, confectioneries, or desserts are now closed. So what will continue to operate?
- Supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores, and wet markets (except convenience stores in parks),
- Pharmacies and stores for personal care items,
- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) establishments with MOH-registered in-house TCM practitioner(s) are allowed to open for consultation and dispensing of related TCM medication only (No walk-in retail allowed),
- Hardware stores,
- Opticians, by appointment only. No walk-in customers allowed,
- Critical food services, including hawker centres, food courts, coffee shops, those that sell hot/cooked snacks and bread. These can continue to remain open for takeaway and delivery services only.
Additional safeguards for workplaces that remain open
Businesses that are allowed to continue operating must register their workers who are required to work on-site. The number of workers permitted will be reduced to the minimum needed. Employers also must put in place effective measures to avoid transmission of COVID-19 at and across workplace premises, including:
- Not allowing teams working in different locations to interact physically with one another
- Implementing safe distancing measures at every workplace premises
- Ensuring workers wear protective face masks at the workplaces
All workplaces will also be required to have a system that logs their workers’ entry into, and exit from, their workplaces. Employers can consider using a digital check-in application called SafeEntry for this purpose.
Entry restrictions to wet markets and other popular places
For some local areas that are susceptible to crowding at certain times, making safe distancing difficult, site owners may introduce access restrictions.
For the 4 popular wet markets – Geylang Serai Market, Blk 505, Jurong West St 52, Blk 20/21 Marsiling Lane, and Blk 104/105 Yishun Ring Road – entry will be permitted on alternate dates, depending on the last digit of your NRIC/FIN:
- If the last digit of your NRIC is an odd number – you will only be allowed to enter on odd dates of the month
- If the last digit of your NRIC is an even number – you will only be allowed to enter on even dates of the month
This will help spread out the crowd over the week, reducing crowding and long queues at these popular markets, especially on weekends. For an updated list of restricted markets, please visit this site regularly.
Stay at home as much as possible
As the number of unlinked cases has not gone down in Singapore, citizens and residents are asked to stay at home as much as possible. That means:
- Going to buy necessities alone, not in groups or as a household.
- Avoid going out except to buy food and daily essentials, or for urgent medical needs.
- Exercising alone and in your immediate neighbourhood.
- Avoiding any unnecessary travel to other parts of Singapore.
- Assisting senior citizens, children, or disabled persons as quickly as possible, and then returning home.
Staying safe in Singapore during the coronavirus outbreak
Residents and expats living in Singapore right now should follow the latest lockdown restrictions to help curb the outbreak. If, however, expats living in Singapore were to develop COVID-19 like symptoms, they should visit a Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC). You can find out your nearest PHPC by heading to www.phpc.gov.sg.
Singapore citizens and permanent residents who use their Medisave can enjoy certain discounts for treatment, but expatriates who contract the disease must pay for the treatment out-of-pocket unless they secure an expat individual health insurance in Singapore. For more information, plans comparison, and free quotes, feel free to contact our advisors today!
When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!
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