facebookSingapore COVID-19 Restrictions Update: Progressing to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert)

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Singapore COVID-19 Restrictions Update: Progressing to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert)

profileMing Feng

[Latest] 10 June 2021 Singapore COVID-19 Restrictions Update: Progressing to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert)

As we transition to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) in the coming weeks, here’s what to expect.

1) Dining In To Resume

Dining in at F&B establishments will be allowed to resume from 21 June 2021 onwards if the COVID-19 situation remains under control.

2) Social Gathering Cap To Increase

The maximum cap for social gatherings will be increased to five persons.

However, social gatherings should also be limited to no more than two a day.

Higher-risk settings such as F&B establishments will need to strictly observe safe distancing measures.

Patrons are reminded to keep their masks on at all times, except when eating or drinking.

3) Gyms and Fitness Studios To Resume

Gyms and fitness studios may resume indoor mask-off sports activities from 21 June 2021 onwards.

With safe distancing of at least two metres between persons.

And at least 3 metres between groups of up to two persons.

4) Work From Home (WFH) To Remain Default

Employers should ensure that employees who are able to WFH should continue to do so.

In order to minimise movement and risk.

Companies should stagger start times and implement flexible working hours where possible.

Workers should also not be cross-deployed to multiple worksites.

5) Regular Fast and Easy Testing (FET) Regime

People who work in high-risk settings with unmasked customers will have to undergo regular Covid-19 testing — regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

This includes:

  • F&B establishments
  • personal care and appearance services (e.g. facials, saunas, make-up)
  • gyms and fitness studios

The mandatory tests will entail a regular Fast and Easy Testing (FET) regime that utilises antigen rapid tests (ART).

These test will be rolled out progressively, starting from July 2021.

6) Singaporeans 12 to 39 Years Old Can Register For COVID-19 Vaccinations

Singapore citizens aged 12 to 39 can register online for their COVID-19 vaccinations from 11 June 2021.

Children who turn 12 years old in 2021 must cross their birthday before they are eligible to book an appointment.

P.S. If you’re the play safe type… you might want to check out the various COVID-19 vaccination insurance available in the market.


TL;DR: An Overview of Singapore’s New Normal During COVID-19

On 7 April 2020, Singapore implemented a stay-at-home order aka Circuit Breaker which lasted for a month.

And it’s been pretty tough on all of us, especially on our finances and our retirement planning.

Naturally, a lot of us are looking forward to going back to our normal lives as soon as possible.

So that businesses can resume, jobs can be made available, and we can get our personal finances back on track.

After we got things under control with the Circuit Breaker, we’ve been slowly lifting the circuit breaker measures in phases.

Here’s what we’ve gone through so far

  • Phase 1 (Safe Reopening): started on 2 June 2020
  • Phase 2 (Safe Transition): started on 19 June 2020
  • Phase 3 (Safe Nation): started on 28 Decemeber 2020 (with widespread TraceTogether use and Safe Management Measures) and was expected to last until an effective treatment or vaccine is found
  • Phase 2 (Heightened Alert): started on 16 May 2021 in light of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases
  • Phase 3 (Heightened Alert): started on 14 June 2021

Stay safe, everyone!

Also, do remember to save this article as we will be updating it regularly to keep you in the loop about the latest COVID-19 restrictions and Heightened Alerts.


31 May 2021 Singapore COVID-19 Update: 3 Things Singapore Will Do More Of and Faster

PM Lee has provided another update on our COVID situation on 31 May 2021.

Source: Asiaone

To raise our game to keep COVID-19 under control, there are 3 things that Singapore will do more of and faster:

  • Testing
  • Contact Tracing
  • Vaccination

1) Testing: Routine Testing To Be Expected

There will be a focus to test faster and more liberally and extensively.

This will enable us to detect cases more quickly to isolate and ring-fence the virus before it spreads.

There will be faster and cheaper tests available as well.

Self-administered test kits will soon be available to be purchased over the counter at pharmacies.

These kits will be useful for individuals who want to test themselves frequently, such as frontline workers.

This is one of many alternatives to PCR tests, which includes Antigen Rapid Tests (ART), breathalysers and wastewater surveillance.

We can expect routine, fast and simple testing to be part of the new norm moving forward.

2) Contact Tracing

Contact tracers are working faster and more effectively.

For instance, TraceTogether is helping us to identify within hours instead of days.

In the future, once someone is identified as close contact of an infected case (first degree), household members will be told to isolate themselves immediately.

Only when the close contact is tested negative then household members can be released from isolation.

This will help shut down clusters more quickly and help with the ring-fencing

3) Vaccination: Speeding Up Vaccination Process

Vaccinations have begun in December last year.

The government has been working to speed up the vaccine supply, which will increase in the next two months.

Students To Be Next Group To Be Vaccinated

Students aged 12 and above will be the next group to be vaccinated and can start registration from 1 June 2021.

Priority will be given to the secondary and pre-U (O- and A-Levels) graduating cohorts, as well as Special Education students.

Students aged 18 and above will receive either Pfizer-BioN-Tech or Moderna vaccine.

Students aged between 12 and 17 will receive the Pfizer-BioN-Tech vaccine.

Young Adults (39 Years and Younger) As the Final Group

The final group – adults 39 years old and younger – will be able to start vaccination around mid-June.

There will be a 2-week window as priority as this group is quite large.

No Booking Required for Anyone Above 60 Years Old

Anyone above 60 years old can walk into any vaccination centre to get vaccinated.

There is no need to register and no need to book in advance.

For individuals who are not mobile or unable to make their way to these centres, do contact the Silver Generation office.

A doctor and nurse will visit to administer the vaccination.

The majority of the population will be vaccinated by early July, and all would be able to get at least their first jab by National Day.

If you’re looking to get COVID-19 vaccination insurance coverage, there are a few options that are currently available as well!

Nevertheless, not everyone is recommended to take the vaccine.

Here’s a quick guide if you’re wondering whether you should take the vaccine:

Source: Ministry of Health

16 May 2021 Singapore COVID-19 Update: Return to Phase 2 and Further Tightening of Safe Management Measures

The Ministry of Health announced that COVID-19 safe management measures will be further stepped up in light of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Singapore as well as the new strains of the virus.

Source: Awesome Singapore | Facebook

These measures will take effect from 16 May 2021 (Sunday) and last till 13 June 2021 (Sunday).

Many of these measures are similar to those back in Phase 2.

Here are the announced new COVID Restrictions:

Social Gatherings Safe Management Measures

  • The permitted social gathering size will be reduced to groups of two people, down from five now.
  • Households will only be able to host two distinct visitors per household a day, down from five now.
  • Also, individuals are advised to limit their social gatherings to just two a day.
  • However, current childcare arrangements where children are cared for by their visiting grandparents will not count towards the 2 person cap.
  • Spa services that require you to take your mask off will not be allowed to open.

Food And Beverage Establishments Safe Management Measures

  • All food and beverage (F&B) establishments including eateries and hawker centres will only be able to offer takeaway or delivery during this period of time.
  • There will be no dining in allowed.

Workplace Safe Management Measures

  • Working from home (WFH) will become the default for all workplaces.
  • Employers should ensure that those who can work from home will do so.

Sports Safe Management Measures

  • Sports events with mass participation will be temporarily suspended. Also, there will be no spectators permitted at sports events.
  • Strenuous indoor exercise classes and sports that require the removal of masks will not be permitted.

Tourism/Places of Interest Safe Management Measures

  • Public libraries and museums will have their permitted capacity reduced from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.
  • Tours will have their maximum permitted tour size cut from 50 to 20 participants, split into groups of a maximum of two people per group in each tour.
  • Cinemas will still be allowed to operate with caps on the number of people:
    • 100 people with pre-event COVID-19 testing.
    • 50 people without pre-event COVID-19 testing.
  • Also, cinemagoers will have to adhere to the two people per group rule and no food or beverages will be allowed to be sold or consumed at the cinema.
  • Attractions that have previously received approval to operate at 50 per cent capacity will have their capacity reduced to 25 per cent.

Live Events Safe Management Measures

  • Indoor and outdoor shows will be allowed to proceed with caps on the number of attendees:
    • 100 people with pre-event COVID-19 testing.
    • 50 people without pre-event COVID-19 testing
  • Congregational worship services will be allowed to proceed with caps on the number of attendees:
    • 100 people with pre-event COVID-19 testing.
    • 50 people without pre-event COVID-19 testing.
  • However, singing and playing of wind or brass instruments will not be permitted.

Weddings And Funerals Safe Management Measures

  • Wedding receptions will not be permitted.
  • Weddings soleminsations will still be allowed to proceed with caps on the number of attendees:
    • 100 people with pre-event COVID-19 testing.
    • 50 people without pre-event COVID-19 testing.
  • Only 20 people will be allowed at funerals at any given point in time.

TraceTogether App Check-In

  • From 17 May 2021, everyone will be required to check in with the TraceTogether (TT) app or token at venues where digital check-ins are needed.
    This means that you will not be able to check-in digitally by scanning the venue’s SafeEntry QR code.
  • But, you may still check-in through the scanning of barcodes on personal identification cards until 31 May 2021.

 

28 December 2020 Singapore COVID-19 Update: Moving to Phase 3

Finally, a bit of good news!

Singapore will be moving into Phase 3 from 28 December 2020!

But wait!

Don’t throw away your masks just yet! 

Masks are still mandatory, and safe distancing measures must still be adhered to.

We must practice social responsibility so that we can all get through this crisis as a nation.

Activities That Will Be Allowed During Circuit Breaker Phase 3

Here’s what to expect as we re-open and allow more activities to resume in the community:

Permitted Phase 3 Activities Deets
Group size for gatherings increased from 5 to 8 personsUp to 8 persons for social gatherings and household visitors
Capacity limits of premises increasedAttractions can start applying to STB to increase operating capacity from 50% to 65%
Malls and large standalone stores can increase capacity limits from 10sqm to 8sqm per person
Capacity for congregational and worship services increased up to 250 personsServices should still be conducted in zones of 50 persons each
May involve live performance elements (eg. with limited number of singers, wind and other instruments)
Capacity limits for marriage solemnisations increased to allow 10 persons + up to 8 visitorsHosting household can invite up to 8 visitors (excluding members of hosting household, solemniser, and vendors)
Live instrumental music (except for wind instruments) will be allowed for some activitiesIncluding indoor marriage solemnisations and funerals
Capacity limits for indoor live performances changed to up to 250 personsAudience should still be segregated in zones of 50 persons each
Reopening of public camp sites in parks and Pulau UbinUp to six persons per tent/camping permit allowed
Reopening of public BBQ pits in parksUp to eight persons in a group may gather

Other notable changes include:

  • International borders to be reopened in a controlled and safe manner
  • A pilot programme to allow for certain nightlife venues to reopen (d
  • A pilot programme for live performances to be held in outdoor venues for up to 250 persons (in zones of 50 each

COVID-19 Vaccine Singapore Phase 3 Update

The Singapore government has set aside $1 billion and signed advance purchase agreements for the right to make early downpayment and purchases for promising vaccines from developers like:

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer BioNtech
  • Sinovac

There are also arrangements made to facilitate clinical trials and drug development locally.

All in a bid to ensure that Singaporeans have early access to such vaccines.

The good news is that HSA (HealthScience Authority) has already approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for pandemic use. 

And the first shipment will arrive in Singapore by the end of December 2020, making Singapore one of the first countries to obtain this vaccine.

Here’s what we know about the COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Singapore should have enough vaccines for the entire population by Q3 2021
  • MOH has proposed ALL adults be vaccinated and it will be on a voluntary basis
  • Priority will be given to healthcare and frontline workers; the elderly and the vulnerable
  • Vaccinations will be available to all Singaporeans and long-term residents for FREE

As a global aviation hub, Singapore also plays a crucial role in transporting vaccines around the world.

This is a challenging process as the vaccines require cold store management of -70 C (for context, this is colder than the temperature in the Arctic!).

But, Singapore has a strong ecosystem for cargo handling, and we are gearing up to handle large volumes of vaccine shipments.

Er… Is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?

Here are more details as well as the safety profile of the vaccine:

  • Suitable for persons aged 16 and above
  • The vaccine will be given in 2 doses that will have to be administered 21 days apart
  • The vaccine is not suitable for pregnant women, immunocompromised persons, and those under the age of 16
  • All Singaporeans are encouraged to be vaccinated when the vaccine is made available

20 Jan 2021 Singapore COVID-19 Update: Reopening of Public Campsites and BBQ Pits

Bad news for people who love bad news.

The National Parks Board (NParks) will be reopening about half of the public campsites and BBQ pits it manages.

Source: Giphy

Public Campsites Booking Singapore

For those who love the great outdoors and don’t want to splurge on glamping, you can now book/apply for permits to camp in East Coast Park, Pasir Ris Park and West Coast Park. Whereas for Pulau Ubin, you will have to use this form.

But, here are some important points to take note of:

  • You can only have a maximum of six campers per tent/camping permit.
  • Camping tents will need to be set up at least five metres away from each other.
  • You will need to check in with the SafeEntry QR code on the TraceTogether app and keep your apps turned on, or bring your TraceTogether token.
  • You will need to wear a mask, except when you are engaging in strenuous exercise, or when consuming food, drink or medication.
  • Other terms and conditions stated on the NParks website you can find before you make the booking.

Public BBQ Pits Booking Singapore

Alternatively, if you want to enjoy Singapore’s parks and feast on delicious food cooked over an open flame, you can now book/apply for permits for BBQ pits at:

  • Changi Beach Park
  • East Coast Park
  • Jurong Lake Gardens
  • Labrador Nature Reserve
  • Pasir Ris Park
  • Sembawang Park
  • West Coast Park

But, here are some important points to take note of:

  • You will need to check in with the SafeEntry QR code on the TraceTogether app and keep your apps turned on, or bring your TraceTogether token.
  • You will need to wear a mask, except when you are engaging in strenuous exercise, or when consuming food, drink or medication.
  • You are not allowed to gather in groups of more than eight people.
  • You will need to keep a safe distance of at least one metre from other visitors.
  • Observe the signs and instructions from our officers in our gardens, parks and nature reserves.
  • Permits are valid from 12 to 10.30pm

20 October 2020 Singapore COVID-19 Update: From Phase 2 to Phase 3 (Safe Nation) and Beyond

To enter Phase 3, Singapore needs to be super confident that we can deal with and manage COVID-19 adequately.

On 20 October, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce MMTF) has highlighted 3 key enablers for Phase 3 to happen:

1. Continued Adherence to Safe Management Measures

To prevent a resurgence of COVID-19, as we have seen in other countries as they open up to more activities.

We will have to keep up the habits and practices of the past few months.

This includes:

  • Small group sizes both in public and for visitors to homes
  • Safe distancing to disallow or minimise interactions between groups
  • Social responsibility by wearing masks, maintaining strict personal hygiene, and seeking medical attention for any symptoms of acute respiratory infection

2. Pre-Event Testing

From mid-October to December 2020,  pre-event testing will take place at larger-scale and higher-risk activities like:

  • wedding receptions
  • live performances
  • sports events, and etc

This will hopefully allow more activities to resume safely.

3. Expansion of Digital Contact Tracing Tools

A higher take-up rate (70 per cent of Singapore’s population) for TraceTogether needs to happen before Phase 3 can begin.

This will allow the Ministry of Health to quickly contact trace and ringfence any infections.

.

.

.

So What Does Phase 3 Look Like?

Once these 3 key enablers are met, we will be able to move to Phase 3.

1. Increasing Group Size

The group size for public gatherings and the number of visitors allowed in homes could be increased from 5 persons to 8 persons.

2. Increasing Capacity Limits

The capacity limits for public venues (eg. museums) and events (eg. weddings) could be increased with multiple zones of 50 persons.

As mentioned earlier, this might also involve a pre-event test.

3. Considerations for Activities in Higher-Risk Settings

HIgher-risk settings like:

  • bars
  • karaoke lounges
  • nightclubs
  • pubs

cannot open as their activities pose a higher risk of transmission.

They are unlikely to resume at the start of Phase 3 but the MMTF is considering limited pilots to see how the industry can resume safely.

4. Facilitating Travel and Re-Opening of Borders

Singapore is gradually allowing more travel to resume in a safe manner.

For travellers from low-risk countries or regions, the unilateral opening of borders and Air Travel Bubbles will allow them to enter Singapore with a COVID-19 test and without a need to serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

For travellers from higher-risk countries or regions, more ways are being explored to allow more travellers to enter Singapore without a need to serve SHN while minimising risk of transmission.

Currently, Singapore Citizens, PRs, and Long-Term Pass Holders who travel out of Singapore from 27 March 2020 onwards are responsible for their own inpatient medical bills if they have onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

However, Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents can use existing government subsidies and make claims under your health insurance (including MediShield LifeIntegrated Shield plans, and private health insurance).

Whereas for long term pass holders (LTPHs), they will have to tap on their usual financing arrangements, like private insurance for example.

But with the move to reopen our borders, individuals travelling overseas will have access to government subsidies and insurance coverage…

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About Ming Feng
A stint in Bloomberg gifted me with a beer belly, which only grew larger when I moved on to become a Professional Trader. Now I turn caffeine into digestible finance-related content.
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