Authorities: Some S’poreans Are Social Distancing to Avoid Penalties & Are ‘Missing the Point’

Nowadays, you’ll be able to spot tape markings on the floor or on hawker centre chairs everywhere you go in Singapore.

And no, it’s not because they are spoilt.

In fact, these are examples of some of the social distancing measures that Singapore has been taking to slow down the spread of Covid-19.

Although the government implemented these measures to ensure our maximum safety, there are obviously still going to be people who complain about it.

Especially Gen Z and millennials who can’t live without partying every weekend.

However, despite the small group of those who complain, it seems like most Singaporeans are abiding with the new laws and taking social distancing seriously.

Emptier Streets & Fewer Crowds In Singapore

Singapore’s National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said that there are “very good signs” to indicate that people are starting to abide by the new rules, during a virtual press conference on Tuesday, 31 Mar.

Image: Youtube (CNA)

He pointed out that there were now less crowded streets, fewer crowds (if any at all) and people were also abiding by the 1m separation rule.

He definitely has a point, especially since almost all of Singapore’s popular streets and shopping districts have turned into ghost towns.

These new social distancing measures, which took effect last Friday, 27 Mar, has closed almost all bars, clubs, theatres and any other type of entertainment venue.

It also bans all group gatherings of more than 10 people and requires everyone to keep at least a 1-metre distance from anyone they encounter in public.

Some People Are Still Missing The Point

Although most Singaporeans are adhering to these new rules and no one has gone to jail for disobeying them yet, Mr Wong said that some were still “missing the point” of safe distancing.

This is because of the numerous questions that the authorities have received from the public regarding the fine details of each rule.

In other words, it seems like people might be trying to find loopholes.

“Very often, we still get people asking us, ‘Can I do this? Can I do that? Can I hold a party at my home maybe with just 10 people’… it’s just meeting the rule but that really misses the point,” he said.

“The point of all these measures is to reduce the activity level, it’s to minimise the contact with others so that each one of us can slow down the spread of the virus and we really need every Singaporean to do his and her part.”

And he’s not the only one who has been getting these questions.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong recently received a question from someone, who asked if he could invite nine friends to his home if his brother, who lived in the same house, stayed inside his room for the duration of the gathering.

Image: Giphy

“It’s not a question of whether you can or cannot. The key question is whether you need to or not. Even if you need to have interactions with close friends, do you need so many at the same time? If you can avoid it, avoid it during this period of time,” said Mr Gan.

Encouraged Singaporeans To Protect Elders

Mr Gan also advised Singaporeans to be extra cautious if they lived with older family members, and try to protect them as much as possible.

“If we have elderly at home, observe extra caution when you are with them… raise your hygiene standards with them. If you’re ill, don’t go near your seniors. If they don’t live with you, don’t visit them,” he said.

Mr Wong also added on to this and said that senior citizens should be encouraged to go out less frequently, and stay home instead. This is because quite a number of them had been going out to the market or meeting their friends for meals despite the coronavirus situation.


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Although it is too early to tell if these new measures are actually helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in Singapore, it is best if all of us continue to abide by the rules for now.

Going out less frequently and meeting up with fewer people might be difficult, but at the end of the day, it is for the benefit of yourself and the whole nation.

Last night, Singapore reported 47 new cases of Covid-19, which brings the total number of cases in Singapore to 926. 240 of these cases have fully recovered and been discharged, 22 are in ICU and 3 have passed away.

In the meantime, you can keep yourself updated on the situation by registering for the Gov.sg’s WhatsApp service here.


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