Yesterday was an exciting day. PM Lee appeared on stage again but this time, there’s nothing reassuring about his speech.
Some, like employees, would probably be cheering because they get a one-month holiday (unless they’re forced to go on unpaid leave, then they’ll probably be worried).
While others, like bosses, are probably going, Wait, I thought a lockdown isn’t a magic solution?!
Singapore Going Into ‘Circuit Breaker’ Mode
On 3 Apr 2020, PM Lee announced a series of new measures that sounds suspiciously like a lockdown.
Schools to Shut Down From 8 April 2020
From next Wednesday, all schools would be closed, and every student would have to go through home-based learning for a month instead of just once a week.
Restrictions on Movements
People are advised to stay at home as much as possible, and PM Lee has advised everyone to avoid visiting others, especially the elderly and the vulnerable.
Most Places to Be Closed from 7 April 2020
ALL workplaces would be shut down except for essential services starting from next Tuesday.
But it’s not because essential services like supermarkets and F&B places will remain open.
So What Exactly Are Essential Services?
“Essential services” as a term is incredibly vague.
Yesterday, when we wrote about it, they gave a guideline on what the government deems as essential:
- Food establishments
- Key banking services
Yes, I know. The list’s just like my O-Level Math paper, even after reading it four times, I still can’t make heads or tails out about it.
But the Government is expecting that and they’ve come up with a website to tell you exactly which businesses are allowed to remain open.
With the really trendy name of gobusiness, the website lists down exactly what type of businesses are supposed to be open during this one month of circuit breaker.
In order to make it easier for people to search through (unlike Netflix), they’ve kindly categorised it into different industries:
- Health and Social Services
- Water, Waste, Environment
- Transportation and Storage
- Information and Communications
- Defence and Security
- Construction, Facilities Management and Critical Public Infrastructure
- Manufacturing and Distribution
- Banking and Finance
After going through the website, here’s our conclusion on the matter.
The general rule of the thumb is this: if your business is essential for the country to run, such as providing daily necessities, electricity, daily upkeep and useful to the government, you’re allowed to remain open.
As for the rest, companies can continue working via telecommuting (letting workers work from home).
If not, activities must be suspended until 4 May 2020.
A Tough Month For Everybody
No doubt this is going to hit everyone badly.
The new measures will end on 4 May 2020 and we’re predicting that a lot more businesses are going to disappear before it ends.
The government did promise to release details about a new help package next week to support Singapore businesses to tide over this month of inactivity.
Although whether they’ll give it in a timely manner or not remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, let’s all be socially responsible so that we can all get back to work as soon as possible.
Reader Bao: I can’t believe you just said you want to get back to work.
Well, yeah, my boss will probably read through this article somewhere in the near future.
After all, he has nothing to do at home as well.
Reader Bao: …Smart.
DPM Lawrence Wong has just spoken about his plan for Singapore in the next ten years and more. Here’s a summary of his first speech: