As Singapore begins easing circuit breaker measures, PM Lee urges caution

File photo courtesy: Twitter/@leehsienloong
File photo courtesy: Twitter/@leehsienloong

Singapore will start easing its COVID-19 circuit breaker measures from Tuesday, June 2 in three phases. With Phase 1 set to witness many critical sector businesses opening up, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged caution. 

“Tomorrow, we will be lifting some circuit breaker measures. A big relief to all, but certainly not without its risks,” PM Lee said in a Facebook post. “I know many of you are looking forward to seeing your friends in school again, or visiting parents and grandparents. But we must remain cautious and vigilant.”

Singapore has seen a drastic decline in cases amongst Singaporeans and Permanent Residents and on June 1 reported zero cases in the community for the first time in three months. For many weeks now, cases in the island nation have largely been concentrated among work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. 

On May 19, the Multi-Ministry Task Force announced a phased easing of the circuit breaker measures, with task force co-chair Minister Lawrence Wong saying that Phase 2 of the easing might even begin before the end of June. 

On the eve of Phase 1, PM Lee has urged all residents to continue to maintain safe distancing, wear masks when outdoors and at work, be careful of personal hygiene, wash hands frequently and avoid crowds and gatherings.

“If we all do this, then life can go on more or less normally after the circuit breaker. We don’t want COVID-19 cases to spike up again, and be forced to tighten up once more,” he posted on Facebook. 

Also read: What you need to know about Singapore's 3 post-circuit breaker phases

He also warned that the fight against COVID-19 is a long one and that people must remain vigilant even as cases come down. 

“Dealing with COVID-19 is a marathon, not a sprint. Even after a vaccine is found, everything will not simply go back to the way it was before. COVID-19 has exposed how vulnerable our way of life is. But it has also given us the opportunity to prove our mettle, and come back stronger,” said the prime minister.