More shops to shut as circuit breaker extended to June 1
Stricter measures will apply till May 4, affecting hairdressers, standalone F&B outlets, wet markets
All standalone food and beverage (F&B) outlets and hairdressers and barbers cannot operate from today, and shoppers can enter four popular wet markets only on selected dates.
These were some of the new measures announced yesterday to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had earlier announced a four-week extension of the circuit breaker until June 1, instead of May 4.
In his fourth national address on the Covid-19 crisis, Mr Lee said stricter measures, including reducing the number of businesses listed as essential services, will be put in place until at least May 4.
"Then, provided we have brought the community numbers down, we can make further adjustments and consider easing some measures," he added.
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said entry restrictions to the four wet markets will take effect from today.
They are Geylang Serai Market, Chong Pang Market at Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road, and the markets at Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52.
Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, said entry to these markets will be based on the last digit of the customers' NRIC number or Foreign Identification Number (FIN).
Customers with an even last digit will be allowed in on even dates of the month and those with an odd last digit can enter on odd dates.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said last night that elderly persons and those with disabilities can be assisted by a family member or domestic worker in the same household, provided at least one of them complies with the odd or even date requirement.
NEA stressed that the elderly are encouraged not to visit markets during peak hours.
Mr Wong said other wet markets and supermarkets with crowding issues may also introduce similar access restrictions.
Temperature screening will be carried out at all supermarkets and malls from today, and visitors must provide their particulars for contact tracing, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said last night.
Mr Wong said that about 20 per cent of the workforce continued to commute to work after the circuit breaker took effect on April 7 because they are in essential services.
This proportion will be reduced to 15 per cent by trimming the number of services considered essential, he added.
"This will mean that all of us may face some degradation of services, or we may not be able to access F&B or certain services that we have become accustomed to," he said.
But the move is necessary, as many local infections during the circuit breaker involved workers in essential services, said Mr Wong.
For the F&B sector, standalone outlets - except those in hawker centres, foodcourts and coffee shops - that sell mainly beverages, packaged snacks, confectioneries or desserts must shut, MTI said.
Eateries and food vending machines in parks, apart from hawker centres, must also close.
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
There will be additional restrictions on selected consumer-facing businesses to reduce customer interactions.
From today, optical shops must operate by appointment only. Pet supply stores and retail laundry services must shut their physical stores but may offer online sales and delivery.
Mr Wong also urged Singaporeans to go out only when necessary, and to do it alone instead of making it a family affair.
"We can take precautions like safe distancing and wearing of masks. But the best way to beat the virus is to stay home. So if you need to go out - buy food, buy groceries - go out alone," he said.
"Do not turn this into an occasion for a family outing. And, if you need to go out and exercise, exercise alone and in your own neighbourhood. Do not travel out to exercise."
Earlier advisories had allowed members of the same household to work out together outdoors.
During this period, all carparks in gardens, parks and nature reserves will close, said the National Parks Board last night.
Mr Wong said that while the circuit breaker has given positive results so far, the battle against Covid-19 will be prolonged and Singaporeans must continue to hunker down.
"Depending on how the situation evolves, we will adjust the measures. Let us continue to go all out to stamp out the virus and overcome this together."
For an updated list of essential services, go to covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/essentialservices/