Basic training suspended until May 4
The Singapore Armed Forces and the Home Team have suspended basic training for a month - from today until May 4 - in line with the Government's "circuit breaker" measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
About 5,000 full-time national servicemen (NSFs) in total will be required to stay at home, except for essential activities, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in separate statements yesterday .
Both ministries said that the suspension period will count towards the trainees' full-time national service (NS), and their operationally ready date will not be affected.
The operationally-ready date refers to the date when NSFs complete their full-time duties.
Those affected will continue to be eligible for NS allowance and medical benefits during the period of suspension, the ministries added.
These latest measures follow the announcement last Friday of the strictest measures to date to keep people at home and break the chain of transmission, including closing most workplaces for at least a month from today.
For the Home Team, the suspension covers about 1,600 trainees on the Police Officers Basic Course at the Home Team Academy and the Basic Rescue Training at the National Service Training Institute.
For the SAF, about 3,400 NSF recruits will be affected.
MHA said that the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force will manage any operational impact arising from the suspension of basic training, while Mindef said the impact of suspension has been reviewed.
"With the increase in transmission of local cases, the SAF... concluded that there would be little impact on operations as active units would be able to provide cover," said Mindef.
It was also announced yesterday that SingPost will operate 24 of its 56 post offices from today to May 5 to minimise the number of employees working on-site.
All services, including postal services, bill payments, banking and government services, will continue to be offered at the 24 post offices, SingPost said in a statement yesterday.
All self-service options, including POPStations and SAM machines, will also continue to operate, and customers are encouraged to use these options as far as possible.
Counter services at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) building will be reserved for urgent cases with appointments. Walk-ins will be denied entry.
As government agencies here scale down the number of counter-staff for safe distancing, ICA has urged members of the public to use its e-services instead.