Singapore

Restrictions will be in place for ‘months’: Lawrence Wong

Restrictions like limiting the number of people meeting in groups to no more than five will likely remain for some time despite more activities resuming under phase two of Singapore's reopening, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

The phase that started two weeks ago will run for months before the next level kicks in, Mr Wong told a virtual press conference.

"And what does 'months' mean? It's really hard to pinpoint at this stage, because we are just two weeks into phase two, it's still early days," he added.

Although the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 had earlier pointed to some rules that may be relaxed during this phase, Singapore is "not moving (towards) such relaxation anytime soon".

Large-scale events such as concerts and conferences will not be allowed to take place and venues like bars and pubs have to remain closed.

"These sorts of things are unlikely to happen any time soon," said Mr Wong, who co-chairs the task force with Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.

"That was the assessment earlier. It remains the same assessment today."

The task force does not rule out tightening some measures if case numbers rise much faster than expected or when large clusters pop up.

Mr Gan said current numbers have "not fully reflected the effect of the opening" in this phase and they may continue to go up in the coming weeks.

"We will continue to look at how we can confidently and safely continue our opening process and eventually, we will reach phase three," he added.

MONITORING

"We are still in the monitoring stage, and that time will come when we may announce additional relaxation, but I think it's too early for us to discuss (that) at this point."

Attractions like Universal Studios Singapore have begun reopening, with some restrictions. Others such as the Jurong Bird Park, River Safari and Singapore Zoo reopen to the public next week.

The war against Covid-19 "is not yet over", said Mr Gan, urging residents to stay vigilant and not try to get around the rules.

coronavirus