Published on : Saturday, April 4, 2020
On Friday, the Singapore government announced a new set of measures as a ‘circuit breaker’ against the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision has been undertaken with the aim of mitigating the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The move comes following the rise in positive cases of local transmission and unlinked coronavirus infections.
Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, Singapore said in an official statement that the Singapore government has decided to take an immediate decisive move instead of tightening incrementally over the forthcoming weeks. He mentioned that the action is being taken to prevent the disease from escalating further. He also informed that the virus would not be able to spread if people refrain from going out and avoid contact with others. He added that the new measures have been introduced to minimise physical contact.
According to the new rules, all schools, universities and educational institutions will remain closed until May 4. All preschool and student care centers will also undergo closure. However, some might provide limited services for children of parents who have to continue working and have no alternative care arrangements. Schools will even begin home-based learning from Wednesday, April 8.
Most workplaces and businesses have also been asked to close down starting Tuesday, April 7. Essential services, key economic sectors and necessary businesses like grocery stores, medical facilities, pharmacies, food establishments, markets, supermarkets, transport, and banks have been exempted from the restriction and will continue to operate normally. In addition, economic sectors that are strategic and are part of the global supply chain have not been closed down.
All casinos, theme parks, and other tourist destinations will be completely shut and the closure will commence next week. Starting Tuesday, all restaurants, hawker centers, coffee shops, food courts as well as food and beverage outlets will remain open only for takeaway or delivery.
Previously, Singapore also established strict border control measures, contact tracing, quarantine, home isolation, and social distancing. The Singapore government will also announce plans about more support towards businesses and households majorly hit by the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown measures next week.