Phase 2 of post-circuit breaker could begin before end-June: Lawrence Wong

With the circuit breaker set to end on June 1, Singapore is poised to embark on Phase 1 in which about 75 per cent of the economy will resume operations.

The Multi-Ministry Taskforce on COVID-19 will decide by the middle of June whether to mmove into Phase 2, should infection rates over the first two weeks remain low and stable.

"Broadly speaking, Phase 2 will entail the resumption of a wider range of activities, and we expect almost the entire economy to reopen by the start of Phase 2," said Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the Taskforce.

Minister Lawrence Wong, Co-chair of the multi-ministry taskforce on COVID-19. Photo courtesy: MCI
Minister Lawrence Wong, Co-chair of the multi-ministry taskforce on COVID-19. Photo courtesy: MCI

Activities including retail shops and consumer services are expected to reopen in Phase 2. It will also include dining-in at F&B outlets, but subject to a cap of five people, Wong said at a press conference on May 28.

Sports facilities and public venues including stadiums and swimming pools will be opened. Social interactions and family visits will also be allowed, but subject to a group size cap at five people. 

However, the government will need to look into activities in high-risk settings, said Wong. "These are typically activities or venues with large gatherings of people, or close contacts of people in enclosed spaces."

They include places such as museums, libraries, cinemas and theatres, as well as religious functions. "They will also include venues like bars, pubs, clubs and discos. All of these venues and settings, based on our experience and overseas experience, have had instances where there have been cases of transmission in such settings."

Singapore is also working on easing of travel restrictions and resuming travel with specific countries. In particular, "establishing travel bubbles with countries where the virus situation is under control and having safe green lane travel arrangements with specific countries."

However, Wong noted that "mass market travel" will not resume soon.