Singapore extends circuit breaker till June

Published on : Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Singapore has decided to extend its circuit breaker plan till the month of June. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong informed that partial lockdown measures titled as a ‘circuit breaker’ that was undertaken to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country will be extended by four weeks until June 1.



The lockdown measures were implemented two weeks ago and were scheduled to end on May 4, initially. According to the rules, all schools, educational institutions, and major workplaces are temporarily closed. Non-essential travel and business activities will continue to be restricted as long as the partial lockdown lasts. All residents have been strictly asked to maintain stay-at-home orders.



With regard to the extended measures, workplaces that are currently functional are being reduced from 20% to 15%. Small-scale snacks and beverages outlets, as well as hairdressing services and barbershops, have been ordered to remain shut. Plans are also being made to strictly restrict access to public hot spots such as supermarkets and wet markets to bring down the graph of community spread further.



In addition, major tourist destinations are either closed or operating with restrictions. Social distancing measures at parks, gardens and nature reserves have asked to tighten. No food outlets and convenience stores would remain open at these venues. Parking lots will also be closed throughout the extension period.



The announcement arrived after the country’s Ministry of Health preliminarily confirmed thousands of new positive coronavirus cases. This takes Singapore’s total number of COVID-19 cases above the 9000 mark. The latest numbers on Tuesday is the second consecutive day that Singapore has reported positive cases over the 1,000 mark. The country now has the highest number of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia.



As informed by the ministry a vast majority of the new cases came from migrant workers living in dormitories. Outbreaks in several worker dormitories drastically increased the number of coronavirus cases in the country that somewhat controlled its graph earlier. Alongside other restrictions, migrant workers have to been asked to refrain from any work and remain confined in their dormitories.



Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has informed that the government will extend some stimulus measures into the month of May to help effected businesses cope with the extended period of the partial lockdown. Wage subsidies and rebates in foreign worker levies would be included under the stimulus. The latest measures would cost an additional 3.8 billion Singapore dollars ($2.7 billion).



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