Singapore’s government said on Saturday, November 20, that it would ease social curbs imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 as infections have stabilized in the city-state over the past month.
From Monday, November 22, limits on social interactions and dining out will be expanded to five people from the current rule of up to two vaccinated people, government ministers told a news conference.
They said the overall infection numbers and hospital situation have largely stabilized and improved.
“We are now transiting towards living with COVID-19,” Gan Kim Yong, minister for trade and industry, told reporters. “I know many or some prefer to open up more quickly but we must do so in a very careful and step-by-step manner.”
“This means that we will ease some measures, observe, monitor and ensure the situation continues to be under control and stabilized before easing further,” he said.
Singapore’s daily COVID-19 cases have fallen below 3,000 on average. About 85% of the island nation’s 5.45 million people have been vaccinated.
The number of infections fell to 1,734 cases on Friday, November 19, from a record daily count of 5,324 in late October.
“The week-on-week ratio of community cases has remained stable at around 0.8 to 1.0 this past week,” the health ministry said in a statement.
Business events in Singapore are already bouncing back.
Singapore hosted top executives of big global companies this week at a host of conferences, marking its gradual return to normalcy and underscoring the contrast with long-time rival Hong Kong, which is sticking with some of the toughest quarantine rules in the world.
Despite all this, compared to Europe, Britain, and the United States, Singapore still has tight COVID-19 restrictions, including mandatory mask-wearing in public.
“We will monitor the situation over the next few weeks and if the overall situation remains stable, our healthcare system remains stable, we can consider the next series of moves, say around end of December,” said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong. – Rappler.com