Singapore to ease some circuit breaker measures from May 5
Singapore will be gradually easing some circuit breaker measures from next week, starting with needle acupuncture for pain management in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Tuesday (May 5).
Others such as home-based businesses, food manufacturing and selected food retail outlets, laundry services, barbers and pet supplies stores, will also be allowed to reopen from May 12, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said during a virtual press conference on Saturday (May 2).
The selective easing of measures comes after the average number of new cases in the community dropped by more than half, from 25 in the week before, to 12 in the past week.
However, Mr Wong emphasised that "we are not out of the woods yet", as there are still unlinked and undetected cases circulating.
He said: "Even as we ease and adjust some of these measures, the bottomline is this: This is not the time to slacken or let our guard down. We may be easing some measures, but we must stay very disciplined and vigilant.
"If there's no necessity to go out, then stay at home. Still, that must remain the mindset for every Singaporean and every resident."
Here are the easing of measures at a glance:
From May 5
1. Needle acupuncture for pain management in TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) needle acupuncture will be allowed, for pain management only, if assessed by the TCM practitioner to be essential. Cupping, moxibustion, guasha and tuina manipulative therapies will not be allowed.
TCM halls with registered TCM practitioners will also be allowed to sell retail products, on top of the consultation and herbal dispensary services which they are already allowed to provide.
2. Exercising in common areas of condominiums
Residents living in strata-titled residential buildings may exercise within the common areas of these private residential developments such as footpaths, but must continue to practise safe distancing measures.
But all sports and recreational facilities such as playgrounds, pools, gyms, barbecue pits and club houses are to remain closed.
The measures are necessary to prevent crowds from forming inside the residences.
Said Mr Wong: "Essentially, the same rules outside in a public area will now apply within the residential development as well.
"Our enforcement officers will go in periodically to inspect and check and enforce the rules. But importantly, we also call on all the MCSTs (management corporations) and managing agents within these developments to do their part and also help with the enforcement."
FROM MAY 12
1. Food manufacturing
Manufacturing and onsite preparation of all food is allowed. This includes the manufacturing of cakes and confectionery, ice cream, cocoa, chocolate and chocolate products, and other snacks that were previously suspended on April 21.
2. Food retail outlets
Food retail outlets, including those selling cakes and confectionery, packaged snacks and desserts, may be open for takeaway and delivery only.
However, standalone shops selling mainly bubble tea, alcohol or beverages such as coffee, tea or fruit juices will remain closed.
Enterprise Singapore said in a media release: “Standalone stores (excluding those in hawker centres, food courts and coffeeshops) predominantly selling beverages must remain closed during the circuit breaker period.
“Online retail of these products is allowed, only if they are fulfilled from the licensed central kitchen of the F&B establishment, if applicable.”
For the updated list, go here: https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/essentialservices
3. Home-based businesses
Home-based food businesses may operate, but only for delivery or collection. Home-based private dining will not be allowed.
Delivery and collection of food orders should be done in a safe and contactless manner, by appointment so that it can be spaced out, and there is no bunching of people.
Barber shops and hairdressers can also reopen for basic haircuts only. Laundry shops and pet supplies retailers can also reopen.
FROM MAY 19
1. Selected groups of students can go back to school
From May 19, schools will bring back students from graduating cohorts in small groups for face-to-face consultations and lessons.
Priority will be given to students who need school facilities for coursework and practical sessions, and those who need additional support during the school vacation.
The school holidays have been brought forward from May 5 to June 1, which is the last day of the circuit breaker.
Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), especially the Institute of Technical Education, will also bring back small groups of students on campus for critical consultations, projects or practicums.