A phased approach to reopen Singapore

20 May 2020 2 min read

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Singapore’s circuit breaker will end on 1 June 2020, with the economy reopening gradually in three phases. This was announced by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on 19 May 2020.

At the virtual press conference, the Taskforce outlined the controlled approach and how some measures will remain. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong also said that the phases could be rolled back if an outbreak occurs. He also cautioned the risk of a resurgence in community transmission as Singapore reopens. 

Phase 1 (Safe Re-opening) – On 2 June 2020

The Government will first allow the resumption of economic activities that do not pose a high risk of transmission in the first phase. These sectors include:

  • Manufacturing and Production
  • Finance and Insurance 
  • Wholesale Trade (excluding retail storefronts)
  • Transport and Storage
  • Professional Services

Nevertheless, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said those who are currently working from home should continue to do so. He also urged companies to put in place the necessary safe distancing measures to ensure a safe environment for their employees and customers. This includes proper contact tracing systems like SafeEntry and staggered work hours to avoid peak hour travel.

Preschools will fully resume by 10 June 2020, while primary and secondary school graduating cohorts will attend school daily. Other students will alternate between Home-Based Learning and school. All staff and students will be required to wear masks or face shields when on campus.

Each household will also be allowed to visit their parents or grandparents staying elsewhere, although visits should be kept to a minimum. Healthcare services such as specialist outpatient services, medical procedures, allied health services and chronic disease management will resume, with priority given to healthcare providers based on medical necessity and available capacity. Preventive health services, such as the flu shot, will resume.

Everyone should continue to wear masks and only leave home for essential activities.

Phase 2 (Safe Transition)

Should community infection and dormitory infection rate remain low and under control, the Government will move on to Phase 2 and allow more activities to resume.

Social activities in small groups will be allowed. More businesses will reopen, such as F&B dine-in, retail outlets, gyms and fitness studios, tuition and enrichment centres. All these places and activities should continue to adhere to safe management measures. 

Depending on the situation, the Taskforce said it hopes to have all students to fully return to school while Institutes of Higher Learning will increase the number of students back on campus at any one time for face-to-face learning. 

However, Singapore will remain in Phase 3 (Safe Nation) until an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is developed. Although most economic and social activities would have resumed by then, precautions and limits would still be enforced. 

The Taskforce also shared that Singapore is continuing with its efforts to expand testing capacity, speed up contact tracing and ensure there is sufficient healthcare capacity for everyone.