Singapore is “effectively back” in Phase 2, as the country takes stricter measures and restrictions to curb the local transmission of COVID-19, which will be set in place from 8 May to 30 May, said co-chair of Multi-Ministry Taskforce Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (4 May).
The new measures include the reduction of permissible group size in social gatherings, from eight persons to five persons, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced in a press conference today.
This also applies to households, which will be able to receive only five distinct visitors a day.
In fact, more employees will be required to work from home, with only 50 per cent of employees who are able to work from home are allowed to return to the workplace.
Other measures also include the closure of indoor gyms, testing requirements for worship services and cinemas with more than 100 attendees. Capacity will be reduced at attractions, libraries, tours and MICE events.
Speaking at the press conference on the new measures, Mr Wong noted that the new restrictions would mean that Singapore is “effectively back” at Phase two of its reopening, but he stressed that this is not a circuit breaker.
“We certainly hope not to have to invoke another circuit breaker,” he said.
“But we have proposed quite a stringent and tight set of measures, so that we can respond robustly and pre-emptively to the latest outbreak of clusters and do our best to snuff them out early, and reduce the likelihood of having to impose more drastic measures down the road.”
Mr Wong was asked by the media to confirm again that the city-state is back in Phase two, to which he replied: “Yes, we are effectively back at Phase two, based on all the measures as I’ve just described, eight to five, the new limits and new restrictions, effectively we are positioning our measures as going back to Phase two.
He said that while the range of measures by the Government might be sufficient to contain the clusters, it is uncertain whether there are “cryptic hidden cases that may have escaped our net”.
“It’s not possible to be 100 per cent sure,” said the Education Minister.
He continued, “So what we are proposing today and what we are announcing today is, in our view, a robust and pre-emptive move to tighten up across the board, reduce movement across the board, reduce interactions generally, and we believe that if we all do this, well, we will have a much better chance of reducing the spread of the virus, breaking the chains of transmission, and controlling more outbreaks of clusters in our community.
Mr Wong also urged Singaporeans to do their part by reducing social interactions and complying with the new measures.
“But let’s try our best to avoid that scenario, and let’s all do our part first, to, as I said, comply with the new measures, the latest set of measures, and do it not just by following the letter of the law, but do it in the spirit of it.
“So do our best to minimise our social interactions and activities and stay home as much as possible. That will certainly help reduce the chances of new cases emerging,” he noted.