Singapore will be exiting the Circuit Breaker and embarking on Phase One of re-opening on 2 June 2020. We expect more than three quarters of the economy to resume operations by then. The Multi-Ministry Taskforce will carefully monitor the effects of increased activity in this phase. If the community infection rates remain low and stable over the subsequent two weeks, we can decide by the middle of June to proceed with Phase Two, which could then happen before the end of June.
Plans for Phase Two
2. Phase Two will entail the resumption of a broader range of activities. We expect almost the entire economy to re-open, subject to safe management measures being in place. This broader re-opening will see the resumption of the following:
3. Retail, F&B, and Other Services. Most business activities will be allowed to resume operations in Phase Two, subject to safe management measures, group size and capacity limits being met. These businesses include retail, food and beverage dine-in, personal health and wellness, as well as home-based services. Sports and other public facilities, e.g. stadia, swimming pools, will be opened too. Further details on sector-specific safe management measures will be provided by relevant agencies closer to the start of Phase Two.
4. We will adopt a more cautious approach for higher-risk activities. These typically involve large numbers of people interacting with one another, often in enclosed spaces, and for prolonged periods of time. Overseas and local experience has indicated that these settings can seed large clusters of infected persons. Such activities include:
a. Religious services and congregations;
b. Cultural venues such as art galleries, libraries and museums;
c. Large-scale events and venues, such as conferences, exhibitions, concerts and trade fairs; and
d. Entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, and other indoor and outdoor attractions.
5. For such activities, the relevant government agencies will be engaging businesses and organisations on how they might resume safely, with the necessary safe management measures and safeguards needed. Subject to the appropriate measures being in place, we will discuss with these entities the timing of when they can resume activities in Phase Two.
6. Social Interactions and Family Visits. Under Phase Two, masks will remain compulsory whenever outside one’s home. Small-group social gatherings of up to five persons will be allowed. Within the home, households may receive up to five visitors per day.
7. As seniors are especially vulnerable, they should continue to exercise extra caution and stay at home as much as possible. We recognise that this can be challenging, especially for seniors with care and/or psychosocial needs. To better support them and their caregivers, more senior services and programmes (e.g. senior care centres) will resume with the appropriate safe management measures in place. Some face-to-face social services for other vulnerable groups will resume with safe management measures.
8. Schools. As announced on 19 May 2020, schools will fully re-open from end June, while Institutes of Higher Learning will gradually increase the number of students back on campus at any one time for face-to-face learning.
9. We have provided a broad overview of the timeline leading up to Phase Two and the likely easing of measures that will take place. Depending on the COVID-19 situation and our risk assessment, we will continue to ease measures (e.g. on the size of gatherings) gradually until we reach a new normal in Phase Three, a state in which we expect to remain until an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is developed.
Social Responsibility is Key
10. Phase Two is a significant step in transiting to a new COVID-safe normal. As restrictions are eased, it becomes even more critical that each of us exercises social responsibility to ensure that community transmission remains low as we resume more activities. As we have seen both locally and overseas, it takes only a single person acting irresponsibly to cause a cluster. We need everyone to play their part, observe good personal hygiene, adhere to safe management measures, and avoid crowded places. Employers and employees will need to continue implementing safe management measures and act in a responsible manner at all times.
11. We can look forward to moving to Phase Two and beyond if each of us plays our part. Together, we can and we must achieve a COVID-safe Singapore.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
28 MAY 2020