Dining out, religious services will take longer to resume: Lawrence Wong, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Dining out, religious services will take longer to resume: Lawrence Wong

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Entertainment outlets and activities that attract crowds or people in close contact with each other are among the sectors that will have to wait a longer time before they can reopen after circuit breaker measures are lifted.

Dining in at food and beverage outlets, as well as religious gatherings and services, may also take a while to resume, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

Mr Wong noted that all communities have experienced or will be experiencing their religious observances and holidays with major adjustments, including Qing Ming and Easter last month, and Vesak Day and Hari Raya Aidilfitri this month.

"We know it has not been easy and we really appreciate everyone's understanding of the adjustments that have to be made to keep ourselves and our families safe during this period," he said in a ministerial statement in Parliament.

After the circuit breaker ends, all firms will need to change their work culture and practices, and life cannot return to status quo ante, he added.

Reopening of workplaces will be done in a calibrated manner, starting with industries that are critical to the economy and to local employment, and which keep Singapore connected to world and global supply chains.

The Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of Trade and Industry are engaging industry associations, business chambers and firms to help them adapt to these new realities, he said.


For instance, telecommuting will have to be a default option extended to all staff, he said, while strict safe management practices must be implemented for those who cannot do so.

All these safeguards must be in place before more workplaces can reopen, Mr Wong said.

He added that the Government will harness technology for faster contact tracing when the measures are eased.

Two technological platforms have been developed for contact tracing - the national digital check-in system SafeEntry, and TraceTogether.

The use of SafeEntry will be mandatory for all business premises from May 12, and the TraceTogether team is now working with Apple and Google to make the app more effective, especially on phones using Apple's iOS system.