Singapore to exit COVID-19 Circuit Breaker, resume activities in 3 phases

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The current ‘COVID-19 circuit breaker’ measures will be exited and the banned activities will resume in three phases starting from June 2, Singapore’s Ministry of Health said in a press release on Tuesday.

Singapore started the Circuit Breaker on April 7, when all non-essential workplaces were closed temporarily.

The multi-ministry taskforce set up to combat the virus has assessed the situation and decided to exit the circuit breaker when it ends on June 1, MOH said.

It added that they will embark on a controlled approach to resume activities safely over three phases.

Phase one will be implemented from June 2, during which economic activities that do not pose a high risk of transmission will first be resumed.

But social, economic and entertainment activities that carry higher risk will remain closed.

Everyone should continue to leave home only for essential activities and should wear a mask when doing so.

The ministry also noted that those who have been working from home so far should continue to do so and employees should go to the office only where it is demonstrably necessary.

If the community transmission rates remain low and stable over the subsequent few weeks and the situation of the foreign labourers’ dormitories remains under control, Singapore will move into phase two.

At this stage, social activities in small groups are expected to be allowed.

More firms and businesses will gradually be allowed to reopen, subject to safe management measures being implemented and practised by employers and employees as well as their ability to also maintain a safe environment for their customers.

Further, Singapore will enter phase three, a state before an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is developed.

By this time, social, cultural, religious and business gatherings or events would have resumed, although gathering sizes would still have to be limited to prevent large clusters from arising, MOH said.

The ministry reported 451 new cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday noon, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 28,794.

Among the new cases, one is the case in the community, while the rest 450 cases are work permit holders residing in dormitories.

“We continue to pick up many more cases amongst work permit holders residing in dormitories, including in factory-converted dormitories, because of extensive testing in these premises, as part of our process to verify and test the status of all workers,’’ MOH said.

The number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of six cases per day in the week before to an average of three per day in the past week, according to MOH.