As COVID-19 has shown us again and again, the only change is constant.
From postponing the highly-anticipated streamlining (read: easing) of COVID-19 safe management measures just a week ago, the Ministry Task Force (MTF) is now talking about the future easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
From areas they’re focusing on to what the framework will look like, here’s everything you need to know about what Handsome Lawrence Wong said during 11 March 2022’s press conference.
Lawrence Wong: COVID-19 Measures Will Be Eased in Several Different Steps
If you’re hoping that the streamlining of measures is the second-last step and we’ll blast to the new normal after that, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Returning to the new normal after the streamlining of safe management measures will be done in a “series of steps”, Wong says at the 11 Mar press conference.
He pointed towards permitted group sizes as an example.
The number of people permitted in a group will “eventually go up”, but that won’t be the end-point.
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“We (the MTF) may go even further than that.”
The same goes for back-to-office restrictions; it’s currently at 50% and you can probably expect it to increase in stages before reaching 100%.
Focusing On Five Parameters
The MTF will be looking to break down safe management measures into five different areas:
- Group sizes
- Mask wearing
- Workplace rules
- Safe distancing
- And capacity Limits
Group sizes affect the number of close contacts a person has, which is a key factor behind COVID-19 infections. That is why they’re keeping the limits on the group size of five for social gatherings.
The rule on households, however, will change from 5 visitors a day to 5 visitors at any one time.
Wong pointed out that it doesn’t make much difference as only during the festive season will households receive multiple groups of visitors.
“That’s why… we felt that simplifying this particular rule will not add that much to transmission risk.”
Meanwhile, the restriction of 50% for workers returning to the office, mask-wearing and the capacity limit of 50% for large events will remain.
As for why they’re doing so, it’s because they are not easing COVID-19 SMM restrictions; they are streamlining (or simplifying) it.
“We believe that doing so will not result in additional transmission risks because this is not meant to be an easing of rules – it’s meant to be a streamlining exercise.”
Team Sports Allowed To Return
If you run a frisbee club and wished you can have more than a 2-on-2 match, I’ve got great news for you.
From 15 Mar 2022, Singapore will allow team sports to resume with a few conditions:
- Capacity limited to 30 fully-vaccinated individuals, including players, coaches, umpires, etc
- The event must take place at selected approved venues
As for why that’s happening, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said it’s because there is no clear evidence that transient contact in sports drive up COVID-19 infections.
The number of approved venues will be increased in the coming weeks.
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