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‘Don’t rush to go out’ after businesses reopen, COVID-19 circuit breaker to ease gradually: Lawrence Wong

‘Don’t rush to go out’ after businesses reopen, COVID-19 circuit breaker to ease gradually: Lawrence Wong

People wearing face masks walk past a closed retail mall along the Orchard Road shopping belt in Singapore on May 6, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans should not rush to go out when businesses reopen on May 12, as the “circuit breaker” will still be in place despite the decline in COVID-19 cases in the broader community, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong on Friday (May 8). 

“We have made some announcements on some easing of measures from May 12 onwards, but that should not be an opportunity for us to go out and (go out) more frequently," said Mr Wong, speaking at a COVID-19 multi-ministry task force press conference.

“We are making progress because of the circuit breaker and we should continue to do our part to comply with the measures for the rest of the circuit breaker period. We should remain vigilant and not take any chances,” he said.

Adding that “there is no need to rush to go out” to patronise these businesses, Mr Wong said: “I know some people may not have had a haircut for some time, but there is no need to rush to go out to have a haircut on May 12. There will be time to do so.” 

READ: COVID-19 testing started for 16,000 nursing home residents, 9,000 staff already tested with 1 positive case

His remarks came after Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced on Saturday that some businesses, including home-based food businesses, selected food retail outlets and food manufacturing firms, could resume operations from May 12. 

Basic haircut services at hairdressers and barbers can also resume, but must be done within an hour.

READ: From buying cakes to getting a haircut - what you can or cannot do after the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions

Urging members of the public to “pace themselves”, Mr Wong said businesses should not be in a rush to reopen on May 12 and neglect the safe distancing measures that have to be implemented. 

Inspectors will be checking and enforcing the necessary safe distancing measures, he said, noting that if businesses are found to be operating without the necessary measures in place, they could be asked to stop work with further penalties. 

With just over three weeks left until the end of the circuit breaker period on Jun 1, Mr Wong said the Government will continue to monitor and assess the situation to decide what to do after the circuit breaker lifts. 

READ: All TCM halls allowed to open from May 12 after review of circuit breaker measures

“Whatever the decision or whatever happens in the coming days or weeks, it is clearly not going to be the case that after Jun 1, everything will be lifted and we will go back to status quo ante. That is clearly not going to happen,” he said.

“So all of us have to be mentally prepared that the scenario of post-Jun 1 will continue to be one of gradual calibrated easing. Exactly how much, we'll have to see depending on the assessment of the situation in the coming days and weeks.” 

Watch the full press conference:

Source: CNA/hw(nc)


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