Most of us are so used to Phase 2 by now, we almost forgot about the highly anticipated Phase 3.
Termed the Safe Nation phase, we fantasized about its commencement and hoped for more freedom to ensue.
But in truth, information about Phase 3 is vexingly limited.
Minister Lawrence Wong said, in a press conference just a few days ago, that they’re working on a roadmap for Phase 3 and will be announcing them soon.
Here’s basically all there is to know about the promised land so far, and once we know more, we’ll definitely be writing about it so keep a lookout on our Goody Feed app, yeah?
1. It will be the new normal
It’s becoming clear that what we used to regard as normal is likely too far gone by now. Life will continue to be riddled with indispensable restrictions that weren’t needed before.
Therefore, for the foreseeable future, Phase 3 will be the new normal.
The government will likely establish long-term guidelines that will restore life to the largest permissible degree of normalcy. At the same time, precautionary measures remain in place to prevent the worst and sustain stability.
In a nutshell, it’s a strategy that will enable us to coexist with the subsided threats of the virus for as long as required, without ever letting our guards down.
2. It will go on until there is an effective vaccine
As the new normal, Phase 3 is due to go on indefinitely until an effective vaccine is produced.
If it ever gets produced, that is.
Even then, it will be a while before herd immunity is established and we can leave the worries of widespread infections (almost) completely behind.
Plans for vaccine distribution are currently in development. Vulnerable groups, such as elderly, will be prioritized.
“The vaccination strategy and schedule would depend on several factors, including the suitability of different vaccines for different population sub-groups and the quantity of vaccines available at any point in time,” said health minister Gan Kim Yong.
3. We are slowly progressing there
Technically, we are already on the way to Phase 3 and will likely arrive before even realizing it.
During a press conference in June, Gan stated: “Phase 2 is a process, and Phase 3 is an eventual endpoint”.
The current phase serves as a testing ground for a new lifestyle. It grants a grace period to observe the effect and plausibility of the necessary policies, thereby optimizing them for long-term implementation.
As a result, you will see in this article that much of what’s planned for Phase 3 has been set in motion in Phase 2.
There is no definitive date for Phase 3 to “commence”. By gradually easing restrictions, it is an optimum outcome of Phase 2 we are looking to achieve.
4. Gatherings will resume with limited crowd size
Social, cultural, religious and business gatherings or events are expected to resume in Phase 3, with limits imposed on the sizes.
If it sounds like old news, refer to Point #3.
The only difference would be the permitted crowd size, which for social purposes is currently capped at five.
Gan, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force handling the pandemic, said in the same press conference: “…if the number of cases remains stable, we may increase (the maximum size of a social gathering) to 10 persons, or a different number depending on the situation.”
In August, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce revised the maximum headcount for various religious gatherings.
To complement the SingapoRediscover campaign, crowd size for attractions was recently adjusted as well. Organizers could apply to increase their operation capacity by up to 25%.
While we’re still a long way from raving in a full stadium with no segregation, we can expect the trend of growth in crowd size to carry on.
5. Seniors can resume day-to-day activities
Seniors are the pandas in the Covid-19 situation. They are precious, especially vulnerable, and require extra protection.
Consequently, guidelines for this demography are treated very cautiously.
As of now, seniors are permitted to carry out sports “activities that can be done individually, with no sharing of equipment between participants”.
Elderly at residential care homes are also allowed two designated visitors, who must each visit for only up to 30 minutes on separate days.
During Phase 3, these restrictions will likely be further loosened but not entirely omitted. Seniors are still advised to observe safe distancing, as well as avoid peak-hour travels and crowds.
But, they could look forward to resuming their day-to-day activities with more liberty.
6. Businesses should still stagger work hours
Employers are understandably eager to mitigate the pandemic’s economical impacts.
Consequently, safe management measures are regularly updated to enable business resumption.
Among them, working from home appears to be here to stay. Companies should continue to stagger work hours to prevent the formation of clusters.
Guess seeing all our colleagues in one place will become a thing of the past.
7. Public commute guidelines will remain
As more people return to work and school, it is more important than ever to maintain the safety of public commutes.
Passengers shall refrain from talking to one another or on their mobile phones. Seeing as authorities would have to up their cleaning game during Phase 3, we should really do our part to minimize the workload of frontliners and cleaning staffs.
Another thing that’s here to stay: masks. I know you miss checking out the chai and swee faces of your fellow commuters, sadly that won’t be possible anytime soon.
8. Borders will reopen… or not
Arguably the most pressing concern for business executives and our friends from across the causeway: will borders reopen?
According to the gahmen’s official site, the terms are still quite vague.
“Singapore will gradually re-open our borders for Singaporeans to conduct essential activities overseas and to allow safe travel for foreigners entering or transiting through Singapore.”
However, it seems the reopening of borders won’t necessarily coincide with Phase 3. It depends heavily on the global situation, which is out of the control of our government.
Anyhoo, travel restrictions have observed some revisions over the months. For example, there is now a green lane to and from Japan that will facilitate official and business travels.
All in all, things are leaning towards the better.
In the latest press conference, Minister Lawerence Wong mentioned that they’re already working on the road map to Phase 3.
So the only question we have now is…would KTV finally be reopened?
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