Amid the rising number of local COVID-19 cases in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made an announcement last Friday (3 April) to inform Singaporeans about stricter measures that will be implemented to “reduce the risk of a big outbreak”: a circuit breaker. Covid-19 Circuit Breakers
For one month from Tuesday until May 4 at the least, Mr Lee asks for everyone to bear with these “painful adjustments” involving the ‘no dining out’ rule, shifting all schools and institutes of higher learning to full home-based learning, among many others.
In the face of these additional measures implemented, we understand it can be overwhelming for some, if not many. Here, we share a list of what you can or cannot do during this crucial period to help you better transition into this new norm.
COVID-19 Circuit Breakers see a move towards preventing a COVID-19 outbreak. | Photo: iStock
Covid-19 Circuit Breakers: A Comprehensive Guide
What does it involve & possible restrictions?
All preschools, MOE Kindergartens and student care centres, including special student care centres, will be closed (effective from 8 April for three weeks till 4 May 2020)
Parents/guardians who are working in essential services and are unable to find alternative care arrangements can still receive help
Selected care services will still be open (parents, please check with your respective school)
All schools (primary, secondary, Junior Colleges), institutes of higher learning and Special Education schools will be shifted to home-based learning -students will be taught by their teachers online (effective from 8 April for three weeks till 4 May 2020)
Mid-year exams will be cancelled
National exams will carry on (Mid-year O- and A-level mother tongue exams, PSLE and final-year exams)
Enrichment classes put on hold (Face-to-face tuition, piano, dance etc)
Most workplaces will be closed except for essential services and key economic sectors such as clinics, hospitals, supermarkets and key banking services among others. Social distancing measures should still be observed, reducing physical meetings, etc
Work continues as usual for employees if given the option to telecommute or work-from-home
Petrol stations operate as usual
If you drive, Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges—at all gantries—will halt until May 4
Taxi or private-hire car services remain as per normal
You can still take the public buses and MRT as per usual
Food / daily necessities
Take-away and delivery only
Dining out will no longer be an option. Food and beverages outlets (restaurants, hawker centres, coffee shops, food courts – or any with a food license) will be available for takeaway and delivery only
You can still get your groceries from supermarkets, wet markets, provision shops etc. Do remember to practise social distancing, even at wet markets
Visiting the doctor / health or aesthetic services
YES, services available.
You can still visit your nearby general practitioner clinics (GPs) and polyclinics. Public and private hospitals, offsite specialist clinics and community hospitals remain open
Dialysis services and other renal replacement services
Blood donation services
Senior befriending and counselling services – only if offered remotely
Veterinary services (emergency and non-elective services, including hospitalisation of pets)
*You should not be sending your pets for grooming
NO, services not available.
Annual health screening
Aesthetic services such as cataract surgery (including Botox fix)
Outpatient rehabilitation therapy
Traditional Chinese medicine treatments (TCM) – e.g. acupuncture
Other essential services
YES, still in operation.
Pet supplies stores
Optician services (and sale of products)
Banking services – if you need to withdraw money (online services, bank branches and ATMs)
Repair services – consumer electronics and household appliances
Hardware stores – building and maintenance-related equipment and tools
Postal and mail services
Waste collection and disposal services
Closed, or limited operation
Funeral-related services will continue (with safe distancing measures implemented)
*All government-managed columbaria will be closed (Tuesday to May 4). Choa Chu Kang Cemetery will remain open for burials, and Mandai Crematorium will remain open for cremation services
Hair salons and barber services remain open – you can only do simple haircuts; perming, colouring of hair and those requiring long hours will not be allowed
Personal grooming services such as facials, beauty treatments, as well as nail salons, will be shut
Hospital visits: you may visit wards but number of visitors are controlled during the period of stay. Do check with the hospital or visit their website for details
*Note: You are advised to to put on your own surgical mask when entering the ward
Relatives or friends: it is not advised to make visits and engage in socialising activities (apart from your own household) during this crucial period, especially in protecting the health of seniors
All places of worship will be closed. However, funeral rites may still be conducted where necessary, keeping to a maximum of 10 people at one time
Suspension of singing, dancing and exercises classes at community centres. Online programmes are still available
Most sports and recreational centres will be shut, including swimming facilities, fitness studios, private gyms and bowling centres
*Public parks and SportSG’s 17 open-air stadiums remain open. Do check out
If you live in a condominium, gyms and swimming pools will also be closed
Shopping activities are not encouraged (major stores and outlets will be shut down)
Refrain from taking your kids out for leisure or recreational activities (all museums and attractions including ArtScience museum and Science Centre Singapore will be closed)
Marina Bay Sands will shut its services, including hotels, attractions and F&B outlets
Resorts World Sentosa F&B outlets are only open for take-away
Staycations will be suspended – hotels will not accept new guests during this period
Bookstores and all public libraries & services will be closed from Tuesday until May 4.
If you have already borrowed a book, loan expiry dates will be extended until three weeks after the library reopens. No overdue fines will be imposed. You can continue to access and borrow e-resources and gain access to other services through their app.
With this move put in place, it will help prevent escalating infections, said Mr Lee and everyone has a part to play by taking social distancing very seriously.
COVID-19 Circuit Breakers: Medical facilities, personnel and supplies will continue to experience strain if efforts to prevent further escalation of COVID-19 do not improve. | Photo: iStock
In a span of a day (5 April), Singapore was hit with a whopping 120 new COVID-19 cases, involving two foreign worker dormitories—a record high of cases involving a 3-digit jump.
This signals that we have to be stronger as a community, and walking the talk to protect our loved ones.