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S'pore enters Phase 2 of pretending that the Coronavirus is over

Jun 16, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership

Most businesses and social activities will be allowed to resume from Friday (June 19), the second phase of Singapore's reopening after the circuit breaker period, the authorities announced on Monday (June 15).

What can resume

- Retail businesses can reopen their physical outlets, and food and beverage (F&B) dine-in will also be allowed, although there must not be more than five diners per table. Liquor sales and consumption must cease at 10.30pm. Live music and television and video screenings will not be allowed in all F&B outlets.

- Small-group social gatherings of up to five people can resume. Households can receive up to five visitors at any one time.

- Tuition and other private enrichment classes can resume, except singing or voice training classes.

- All healthcare services can resume, including eldercare services in the community.

- Face-to-face visits at elderly residential facilities, including nursing and welfare homes, can resume.

- Sports, parks and other public facilities can reopen, such as stadiums, swimming pools, playgrounds, beaches, lawns and fields, hard courts, gyms, fitness studios, bowling centres, and function rooms. This applies to similar facilities in private settings such as condominiums and clubs.

- Larger public venues with high human traffic such as malls will be subject to capacity limits. Operators must prevent long queues or crowds from building up.

- Personal health and wellness, and home-based services will also be allowed to resume, including massages and spas.

- Pet care and training will be allowed

- Registered clubs and societies will be allowed to operate at their registered premises.

- Wedding solemnisations may take place with up to 10 people at home and at the Registry of Marriages and Registry of Muslim Marriages, excluding the solemniser.

- Up to 20 people may be present at any one time for wakes and funerals, up from 10 people currently.

- Students from all levels will return to school daily from June 29. Institutes of higher learning will gradually increase the number of students back on campus.

- Financial institutions can have more staff return to the workplace, but those who can work effectively from home should continue to do so

- Branches and customer service locations that had remained closed during phase one will progressively reopen

- Financial institutions will also be allowed to resume in-person meetings with their customers on an appointment basis

- Property viewings and car test drives will be allowed

What cannot reopen for now

A small number of activities where large numbers of people are likely to come into close contact, often in enclosed spaces, and for prolonged periods of time, will not yet be allowed.

These include:

- Religious services and congregations.

- Large cultural venues such as libraries and museums.

- Large-scale events and venues, such as conferences, exhibitions, concerts and trade fairs; and entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, and indoor and outdoor attractions.

- Paintball game centres and billiard halls remain closed

NZ records two new case since restrictions lifted

New Zealand said on Tuesday (Jun 16) that it has two new cases of the coronavirus, both related to recent travel from the UK, ending a 24-day streak of no new infections in the country.

The new infections are a setback to New Zealand, which lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls last week, declaring it had no new or active cases of the coronavirus, one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had warned that new cases may come up in the future as New Zealanders return home, and some others were allowed in under special conditions.

Her health chief, Ashley Bloomfield, who spearheaded the strict lockdown, said it was time to live a little.

"It's about buying local, getting out and enjoying everything this country has to offer," he told reporters in Wellington.

But he ended his comments with a warning.

"There is still a pandemic raging beyond our shores and we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep the gains we have made," he said.

New Zealand's 5 million people emerged from the pandemic while big economies such as Brazil, Britain, India and the United States continue to grapple with spread of the virus.

This was largely due to strict restrictions in which most businesses were shut and everyone except essential workers had to stay home.

The country was also one of the first to allow people to watch professional sports at stadiums with no limits on crowd numbers.