Well, it’s here.
2 June 2020 is less than 2 weeks from now, and like how the authorities have done things, they’re prepping us for what’s coming ahead after the end of the Circuit Breaker.
Would it feel like the end of the Circuit Breaker, or would it feel just like today?
Newsflash: it feels like today.
Comes in 3 Phases
Just like New Zealand, the easing of the restrictions would come in phases instead of just everything at one go.
In Singapore, there would be three phases, and this time, the phases don’t come with any fancy names.
Come 2 June 2020, we would move into Phase One, which is called “Safe Re-Opening”. Everything you’re going to read here pertains to Phase One, and to be honest, it still feels like a Circuit Breaker period.
Phase Two is called “Safe Transition”, and it’s unknown when this will begin. If, during Phase One, the number of COVID-19 new cases remains low and stable, and the dormitory situation is under control, then we can move into this phase.
During Phase Two, more restrictions would be lifted, as small social gatherings would be allowed and more firms and businesses would be open.
And finally, we have Phase Three, which is called “Safe Nation”. It would be a new normal, whereby many events or business would be able to resume but with safe-distancing measures.
So, what can we expect from Phase One?
Most Shops Still Cannot Open
Yes, Singapore will still look like CNY in the past in Phase One.
Most non-essential shops would have to remain closed, which means bubble tea is still a pipe dream for many of us. Interesting enough, hairdressers will now be allowed to provide services beyond haircuts. I guess dyeing hair is pretty essential to us.
Certain Businesses Can Now Operate
While shops remain closed, certain businesses and services can finally start resume business.
Yes, if you’re thinking what I thinking…air-condition servicing is now available.
*make calls now to book because there’s a mini pond below your air-conditioning unit*
A variety of businesses would be able to resume business come 2 June 2020, which you can go to covid.gobusiness.gov.sg to check if your business can open its door two weeks from now.
Here’s a goody infographic MTI has made:
So does that mean you can finally have bak kut teh in your favourite hawker centre now?
Dine-In Still Not Allowed
I can almost hear the screams from hawkers all over Singapore.
Dine-in is still not allowed so you’d still have to dabao. And just for your info, it’s explicitly mentioned that dine-in would be allowed in Phase Two, so just tahan the cold fish soup for a while more.
Most Offices Can Open
Most offices can reopen, but they must allow telecommuting if that is possible. Employees should only work in the office if it’s absolutely necessary, and there must be safe-distancing measures in the premises. You can read more about these practices here.
In fact, you can report any company that’s still not following the rules with an app.
Still No Social Gathering
Want to meet your girlfriend after two months of absence? Unfortunately, that’s still not allowed in Phase One. Non-essential activities and social gatherings will remain prohibited, so you still cannot go to a lady’s house to eat and drink, and then drive back drunk like this man.
This means sports and recreation facilities will remain closed.
In other words, you’re still required to stay home and keep to your own household, unless…
Can Visit Parents or Grandparents
It seems like the authorities treasure family more than to-be family.
You can now visit your parents or grandparents if they live elsewhere, but it’s limited to two people from the same household, and it’s only once a day.
Basic Training in SPF, SAF and SCDF Will Resume Even Earlier
Safe-explanatory, isn’t it? But it’ll resume even earlier, from 26 May to mid-June for BMT recruits and 26 May to 8 June for SPF & SCDF trainees.
Well, at least we don’t feel so jelly now.
Schools Reopen…in a Weird Way
For primary and secondary school students who are graduating, they can go to school daily as per usual.
However, for other students, the cohorts will rotate weekly: one week would be home-based learning and one week would be in school. I’m hearing screams from parents now.
For students in Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) (e.g. polys, ITEs, universities), lectures have to be done online while practical lessons can be done in the campus.
Everyone in school would have to wear their masks.
This will start slowly and not immediately, though. If you’re a parent wondering when you need to take leave or when you can finally have your me-time, just wait for further instructions from your kids’ schools.
Tuition will still be suspended.
So the question we all have is…when is Phase Two coming?
Monitoring the Results During Phase One
Think of Phase One as a period for the Multi-Ministry Taskforce monitor the results; according to the authorities, if the community transmission rates remain low and stable over the subsequent few weeks, and the dormitory situation remains under control, then we can move into Phase Two (“Safe Transition”), with the gradual resumption of more activities.
And let’s call a spade a spade: Phase One doesn’t sound like the end of Circuit Breaker. Phase Two sounds more like the “end”, because we can finally gather in small groups, we can finally dine-in and more businesses will open.
But when would that be?
For that, we have to look south:
New Zealand’s Phased Opening
Just like Singapore, New Zealand didn’t lift off all restrictions at one go; instead, they have four levels of alert.
Level 4 is the highest level (think of it as our Circuit Breaker, but with even stricter measures) and Level 1 is like our Phase Three.
The country was in Level 4 from 25 March 2020 to 27 April 2020, and went to Level 3 on 28 April 2020.
And just like Singapore, the country monitors the transmission rate during Level 3.
With it being under control for two weeks, whereby there were even a few days with no new cases, the country went to Level 2 on 14 May 2020.
So, can we be just like the Kiwis?
Only time will tell.
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