From June 2, Singapore to gradually restart economy in three phases
Many restrictions remain in Phase One, before transition phase and 'new normal'
Singapore's circuit breaker will formally end on June 1, as the country gradually restarts its economy in three phases over the next several months.
This will not mean a return to life as it was before the coronavirus, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday, outlining the broad plan for the months ahead.
Singapore will proceed with caution in the first phase, where many existing restrictions will continue. This phase is expected to last at least four weeks.
If all goes well, it will then move into the second transitionary phase, which could spread over several months.
Further easing of measures would follow in the third phase, where a "new normal' will remain until an effective vaccine or treatment is found.
"We have to do this in a careful and calibrated manner as we don't want to risk a flaring-up of the virus. And importantly, we do not want to sacrifice the efforts all of us have put into controlling the outbreak," Mr Wong said yesterday.
In the first phase, dubbed "safe reopening", about a third of Singapore's workers will be able to resume work at their workplaces, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing. The rest will continue to work from home.
"This will allow three-quarters of our economy to resume normal operations," he said.
Priority will be given to critical sectors and businesses that operate in settings with lower transmission risks. Those returning to their workplaces or offices include workers or staff who are required to use machinery or specialised terminals.
Meanwhile, retail stores will continue to remain shuttered, and there will be no dining in at restaurants during this period.
Singapore will move into the second phase if community transmission rates remain "low and stable".
In this "safe transition" phase, people will gradually be able to resume more social activities. More businesses will be allowed to reopen, including retail outlets, gyms and fitness studios as well as tuition and enrichment centres.
In this phase, which could last several months, small social gatherings and dining in at food and beverage outlets may be allowed.
Similarly, services that involve prolonged close contact, such as massages, or crowds in enclosed spaces, such as cinemas, will reopen only with strict safety management measures in place.
Singapore will also gradually reopen its borders for essential travel. However, this will be carried out separately from the three phases of restarting its economy as the global situation remains volatile.
Reopening, transition, safe nation
REOPENING PLAN IN 3 PHASES
PHASE ONE: REOPENING
- More workers to return to work, starting with businesses in critical sectors
- Most retail outlets will remain closed
- People allowed to visit parents or grandparents
- Schools and places of worship will reopen
- Selected healthcare services will resume
PHASE TWO: TRANSITION
- F&B and retail outlets, tuition and enrichment centres to reopen
- Social activities allowed in small groups
- Sports and recreation facilities to reopen
PHASE THREE: SAFE NATION
- Gatherings resume with size limitations
- Seniors able to resume day-to-day activities
- Services that involve close contact reopen with safe management measures