Singapore could reopen entire economy by June end: Minister
Singapore, May 28 () Singapore could reopen the entire economy by the end of next month if the community transmission of COVID-19 remains low and stable, a senior minister hinted on Thursday.
The move from phase one to the next will depend on the number of community transmissions in the first two weeks of June, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said.About 75 per cent of the economy can resume operations in phase 1, which will begin on June 2, said Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling the coronavirus pandemic. Advertisement
Thereafter, the task force will continue to monitor the situation, particularly over the first two weeks of June.
"If the community transmission remains low and stable, then we will decide by the middle of June on whether we want to take the next step of moving to phase 2," The Straits Times quoted Wong as saying.This means phase 2 could happen before the end of June, he said at a virtual press conference.
Phase 2 will entail the resumption of a wider range of activities, with almost the entire economy resuming operations by the start of this phase, the minister elaborated.His comments came as the country on Thursday recorded 373 new COVID-19 cases among foreign workers while for the first time since February 23 there were no new cases among Singaporeans or permanent residents. Singapore's tally of infections now stands at 33,249 and majority of them are foreign workers holding work permits and residing in dormitories. Advertisement
The phase 2 resumption would include retail shops, consumer services, and dining in at food and beverage outlets subject to a cap of five people per group. The rule will still apply for households of more than five people, who will have to sit at different tables.
Sports facilities and public venues like stadiums and swimming pools are also expected to reopen while social interactions and family visits would also be allowed, subject to a cap of five people.However, a more cautious approach will need to be taken for activities in higher-risk settings, such as those with large gatherings or close contact in enclosed spaces, said Wong. These include museums, libraries, cinemas, theatres, religious functions, bars, clubs and parks. GS NSA NSA
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