We have been in phase 2 of the reopening of the economy since June 19th.
When Minister Lawrence Wong, Co-Chair of the Task Force on Covid-19, raised the possibility of Singapore moving into the third phase before the end of this year in October, we saw a glimmer of hope.
However, this is because we meet different conditions. The three most important conditions are the higher acceptance of TraceTogether, the compliance with secure administrative measures and sufficient test functions.
Things looked positive when the Singaporeans didn’t celebrate community cases for 16 days. However, a new local broadcast popped up on November 25th, potentially delaying entry into the next phase.
Coupled with the relaxed and careless adherence to social distancing measures, I wonder if we have jeopardized our chances of moving on to the next phase.
Here’s what we need to do to move on to phase 3.
We must continue to adhere to the Covid-19 measures
Do not play the system
There was the latest case of a 32-year-old Singaporean man who tested positive for Covid-19 after having dinner with 12 other family members at Tampines Mall in Seoul Garden on November 21.
Among those present was his two-year-old niece, who had previously received a five-day medical certificate for a runny nose.
Photo credit: AFP via Getty Images
It has been reported that there was inter-group mixing in violation of safe distancing measures.
As a result, the point of sale was closed for 10 days for violating the Covid-19 safety rules.
Photo credit: Gov.sg.
This reminded us that this could just be one of the many cases that have taken place when we became more negligent with the measures.
Personally, I have also seen Singaporeans try to “play” the rules of eating, e.g. B. to show up in groups of more than five people and then split up into several groups.
Businesses shouldn’t accept customers who break the rules
The suspension of Seoul Garden is the third in the past week to be imposed by the government.
On Friday (December 4th), the Gemma Steakhouse at the National Gallery Singapore was ordered to close for 20 days to host a Halloween-themed dinner that was attended by about 75 people who had mingled between the tables.
On Saturday (December 5th), the Foot Locker outlet at Orchard Gateway @ Emerald was ordered to shut down for 10 days after crowds gathered in the outlet on Friday evening, apparently to bring a limited edition sneaker to market on Saturday bring.
Image Credit: Reddit
What happened to social distancing? It is evident that we have slacked off in the 1 meter distance, especially in queues.
While it is our responsibility to adhere to group boundaries and social distancing rules, merchants and companies need to be stricter on this aspect and may need to refuse access to customers who break the rules.
The government also needs to crack down on people who don’t wear their masks properly or who don’t comply with Covid-19 measures.
In order to ensure that the situation in Singapore remains under control, we need to maintain the habits and practices of the past few months.
The TraceTogether participation rate must be at least 70%
Second, the TraceTogether program must have an attendance rate of approximately 70 percent, up from the current rate of 50 percent, for Phase 3 to begin.
To date, more than 3.4 million people have signed up for the TraceTogether program.
It plays a key role in the contact tracing efforts that are essential for Singapore to reopen safely.
Photo credit: Vulcan Post
While the use of SafeEntry has improved the ability to quickly detect COVID-19 clusters, greater participation in the TraceTogether program is required to identify close contacts with COVID-19 positive cases.
The secure TraceTogether entry, which requires visitors to either scan the QR code with the TraceTogether app or present the TraceTogether token, also needs to be expanded.
This ensures that people visiting places where people are likely to be in contact for long periods of time or where there is heavy traffic will have either the TraceTogether app or the token.
TraceTogether-only Safe Entry is gradually being rolled out in workplaces, schools and public places like cinemas.
TraceTogether tokens can currently be collected in Community Centers / Clubs (CCs). If you haven’t picked up yours yet, you can check the TokenGoWhere website for nearby sales locations.
Phase 3 means no return to pre-COVID times
It is evident that the virus is still lurking in the community and we have not yet resisted it.
Until the virus is under control with widespread vaccines, we must be ready to stay in phase 3 for an extended period of time, possibly over a year.
However, if we use more enablers, more activities can gradually be resumed in phase 3.
In other countries like Hong Kong, Covid-19 has resurfaced as it opens up more activity or because safe management measures are not followed.
For this reason, the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble, which was already running, had to be postponed.
In addition, the release of the SingapoRediscovers coupons means that more citizens will overcrowd the attractions.
This further underscores the need to adhere to Covid-19 measures in order to keep infections in the community as low as possible and be prepared for phase 3.
Selected image source: Reuters
Also read: It is likely that S’pore can enter phase 3 “before the end of the year”, but 3 conditions must be met first