Singapore’s circuit breaker to curb the spread of Covid-19 will be extended by four weeks until June 1. Tighter measures will also be implemented. These include closing of more workplaces, with only the most essential services to remain open. These stricter regulations will be in place until May 4, when the circuit breaker was originally slated to end. Then, further adjustments made as the situation evolves, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in an address to the nation on Apr 21.
“I hope you understand that this short-term pain is to stamp out the virus, protect the health and safety of our loved ones, and allow us to revive our economy,” said PM Lee.
Restricted entry to wet markets and supermarkets based on NRIC and FIN numbers
From Apr 22 onwards, there will be entry restrictions imposed at certain wet markets which are more popular and tend to attract crowds. These markets are Geylang Serai Market, Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road (Chong Pang Market), Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane Market, and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52 Market.
Entry will be permitted on alternate days, with entry granted on a system based on the last digit of one’s NRIC or FIN numbers. Those with an even last digit on their identity numbers can visit on the even dates of the month, and those with an odd last digit can visit these markets only on odd dates of the month.
People who need assistance can go to these markets with one family member or domestic helper, but one of their ID numbers must still meet the criteria. The elderly is advised to visit the markets at non-peak hours, such as weekdays or after 10am on weekends, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a statement.
Certain entry restrictions are already in place under current circuit breaking measures, and the crowds have thinned out, Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong noted at press conference following PM Lee’s address. However, crowds are still gathering at popular wet markets and supermarkets, making it hard to practice safe distancing.
More workplaces closed; tightened list of essential services
Essential services across all sectors of the economy will be trimmed. “We do not intend to cut back on wet markets and supermarkets because they provide essentials for Singaporeans and Singapore residents,” said Mr Wong. He pointed out that there will be tightening of the F&B outlets that will be allowed to remain open. Consumer services may also have to be restricted while some could be suspended.
Among the establishments that will have to shut under the new heightened regulations: bubble tea shops, pet shops and salons. Get the full details here.
Go out alone if you have to head out for essentials.
The point is to minimise movement as far as possible. If you’re going out for essentials, such as buying food and groceries, go alone. Don’t turn it into a family outing at the supermarket. If you have to head out to exercise, don’t travel out of your neighbourhood for the workout.