Singapore has set a target to fully vaccinate half of its population against COVID-19 by August, and at least 75 per cent by October.
As of Monday (7 June), more than 1.8 million people, which translates to about 30 per cent of the population, have been fully vaccinated.
While speaking at a news conference on Thursday (10 June), Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said that the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States slowly began to decline after about half of its population developed immunity against COVID-19.
Mr Wong who is also the co-chairman of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on COVID-19 went on to note that over 40 per cent of the US citizens are fully vaccinated, and about 10 per cent have been infected with the novel coronavirus.
However, Mr Wong pointed out that Singapore has not reached that level of immunity, but “we will get there soon”.
During his nation address on 31 May, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed that the country’s aim is to get everyone who is eligible for a vaccination to get at least their first dose by National Day on 9 August.
Mr Wong, who is co-chair of the multi-ministry task force combating COVID-19, said that with higher inoculation rate, compliance with social distancing and safe management rules, frequent testing, and quicker contact tracing, Singapore will be able to loosen restrictions and slowly restore “our normal lives, both within Singapore and at our borders”.
Starting Monday (14 June), Singapore will re-enter Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), which will see the current social gathering group size limit raised from two persons to five persons.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement said that the cap for household visitors will also be increased from two distinct visitors per household per day to five distinct visitors per household per day.
Once the second stage of the reopening kicks in from 21 June, dining-in at restaurants will be allowed to resume but with a maximum group size of five.
Mr Wong said that such restrictions are necessary in Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) until the country reaches a higher vaccination rate.
“It is not quite the full phase three, we call this Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) because there are still these restrictions in place,” he said.
He added, “As we progress through these stages (of reopening), we will ease out restrictions and gradually restore our normal lives, both within Singapore and at our borders. Then we will move to Phase 3, and even beyond Phase 3, to a new normal phase of living with endemic COVID.”