Gather round, everyone.
After two years of going back and forth (and being suffocated by masks), we might finally start to feel like we’re going back to normalcy.
Buckle up, because these are exciting times.
If you didn’t manage to catch PM Lee Hsien Loong’s address earlier today and you’re wondering why on earth everyone is spamming your Whatsapp and Telegram chats to ask you if you want to hang out soon, here’s all you need to know about the new regulations as announced by PM Lee today (24 March).
Do note that the new regulations will only start next Tuesday (29 March), so don’t anyhow play play for the next few days!
(And of course, don’t anyhow tell people that the new measures start today lah.)
Masks No Longer Mandatory When Outdoors
Yah, so you can no longer nag at your friends if they don’t wear their masks properly outdoors lah.
After over two years of only seeing people’s eyes and eyebrows, PM Lee announced that masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors.
Of course, this is great news for most Singaporeans, given that Singapore’s weather is already hot and humid enough without our noses and mouths being covered.
Also wonderful news if your “maskne” (mask acne) has gotten significantly worse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, because your skin will finally get to breathe again.
Unless you’re a maskfisher lah. Then this probably isn’t the best news for you. But then you can still wear your mask; no one’s going to stop you.
However, masks will still be required when they’re indoors, so don’t blame us if you forget to wear a mask to your favourite restaurant and then get kicked out.
Additionally, safe distancing of at least one metre between individuals will still continue to be observed, and this will apply to outdoor settings where masks are allowed to be taken off.
Maximum Group Size Capped at Ten
Well, let’s just hope that none of us are the 11th friend in our friend group.
After going back and forth between two, five and eight people, those of us who love having all our kakis around can finally rejoice.
With the recent Omicron wave subsiding and the fact that Singapore has reached a “milestone” in our COVID-19 journey, PM Lee also announced that social gatherings for up to ten people will be allowed from next Tuesday as well.
So if you’re looking to finally have friends over for a long-awaited game night, get your calendars out and start marking the dates!
Increase in Number of Employees Allowed to Work From Office
Not sure if this is good news for everybody, but it’s definitely good news for somebody out there.
While we may forget what sitting in a proper office feels like, after two years of switching on our laptops while we’re still wearing pyjamas and gobbling down our breakfast, some of us may find working in the office much more conducive.
If you’re part of the second group, congratulations.
Offices in Singapore will be allowed to have up to 75% of employees return to work in the office starting from 29 March as well, an increase from the previous 50%.
Increase in Capacity Limit of Venues
Apart from all the exciting measures announced by PM Lee, venues will be allowed to hold more people during events as well.
In particular, if a venue or setting is considered large (which means that it can hold more than 1,000 people), the capacity limit will be increased to 75%.
So if you’re somehow planning a wedding with over 1,000 guests (I mean, why not right), do take note.
Of course, it goes without saying that the measures are subject to change, should the COVID-19 situation worsen again.
Mr Lee emphasised this during his speech and also mentioned that the government “will ease up further” if the current situation stablises and improves.
However, there is still the possibility of cases increasing in the future due to the increase in interactions or other possible variants, so he also warned Singaporeans to be “psychologically prepared for more twists and turns ahead”.
As expected, PM Lee also highlighted that these relaxed measures may be tightened once again should more “aggressive and dangerous” virus mutants emerge in our society.
So enjoy it while it lasts, but also hope that it lasts forever lah.
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