COVID-19: Easing circuit breaker measures, restarting economy won’t be ‘straightforward’ – PM Lee

·Editorial Team
·2-min read

SINGAPORE — As Singapore brings down the number of new COVID-19 cases, it can ease the circuit breaker measures and progressively restart the economy but it will not be straightforward, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday (30 April).

In his May Day speech, Lee said, “We need to step up COVID-19 testing and speed up contact-tracing. And we must proceed cautiously, with safeguards, so infections do not flare up again.”

While the essential services are operating, the rest of the economy will have to open up step by step, and not all at once. Among the essential businesses are those critical to keeping Singapore’s domestic economy running and those that connect the country to the world and global supply chains, he added.

“Other sectors will have to wait, especially those which attract crowds, or involve close contact with other people, such as entertainment outlets and large-scale sporting events.”

In order to let industries resume business when conditions allow, Lee said there has to be close cooperation between companies, workers and the government.

“I know the circuit breaker period has been hard for everyone. The restrictions have disrupted businesses and jobs, and created considerable inconvenience. But you have been resilient, and you have taken this in your stride,” Lee said.

Cordoned off seat seen on 21 April 2020, the 15th day of Singapore's partial lockdown.. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
Cordoned off seat seen on 21 April 2020, the 15th day of Singapore's partial lockdown.. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

On 21 April, Lee announced in a speech to the nation that the government would be extending the circuit breaker period by four more weeks to 1 June in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The authorities would also close more workplaces so that only the most essential services will remain open, Lee said then.

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