COVID-19: Use of TraceTogether, masks to continue after circuit breaker

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Commuters in face masks seen aboard a Downtown Line MRT train. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
Commuters in face masks seen aboard a Downtown Line MRT train. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE – In order to go back to work, all workers and their employers will have to download and use contact tracing applications such as SafeEntry and TraceTogether.

In fact, the government wants everyone to make use of “some sort of an application, which will allow us to do fast contact tracing and track down the contacts of any individual who is a confirmed case or even a contact of contacts”, said coronavirus multi-ministry taskforce co-chair Lawrence Wong at a virtual media conference on Friday (8 May).

As not everyone has a smartphone, “we are also looking at possibilities, like a wearable dongle that people can carry with them when they go out”.

Currently, technical teams are exploring the best solution, he added, and are in discussions with Apple, Google and other tech providers. “And when we are ready with a solution, we will explain what that solution is, and we will want everyone to pick it up,” Wong said.

Additionally, baseline protections will still have to be in place even after the circuit breaker measures are lifted after 1 June. This means “things like safe distancing measures and wearing of mask when you go out and at work”.

Gradual opening of economy

On 2 May, Singapore announced that it will be progressively relaxing its circuit breaker measures in the coming weeks, and allow the resumption of certain businesses and activities amid a slowdown in community transmissions of COVID-19.

Among the first measures to be relaxed, from Tuesday, included allowing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) needle acupuncture for pain management, if assessed by the TCM practitioner to be essential.

From 12 May, retail laundry services, barbers and hairdressers – for basic haircut services – and the retail of pet supplies can resume operations. It was announced on Friday that TCM medical halls which sell herbal products, but do not have a registered TCM practitioner on-site, will also be allowed to commence operations.

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