askST: Can I go out for fresh air or throw a party for 9 amid the Covid-19 outbreak?

Patrons observing social distancing measures at People's Park Centre on March 30, 2020.
Patrons observing social distancing measures at People's Park Centre on March 30, 2020.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Here's how everyone can play their part to help Singapore win the coronavirus fight: 

I'm bored. Is it OK for me to go window shopping since malls and shops are still open? 


Shoppers standing at social distancing markers in front of a lift in Vivocity on March 28, 2020. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Before you step out, ask yourself if your errand is absolutely necessary. There is also no need for the entire family to go out to get groceries or food. If it can wait, stay at home. By all means, buy takeaway from your favourite hawker stall, but remember to observe safe distancing when out, and enjoy your meal in the comfort of your home.

The Government's requirements state that we should avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people. So why not go ahead with my party for nine? 


Bars closed along Boat Quay on March 27, 2020. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Do you really have to? Just because there are fewer than 10 people in the gathering is not a good reason to have one. The less you socialise, the lower your chances of getting infected and passing the virus on to your loved ones.

I am a senior, or live with an elderly person. Should I be extra careful? 


Customers buying vegetables at Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre on March 28, 2020. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Yes. Older people are more vulnerable to Covid-19, as they have a weaker immune system. So, avoid crowded places. Remember that you do not have to go to the market every day. Try to go once a week, and during off-peak times. Better yet, your grandchildren can do the shopping for you. Observe the 1m safe distancing guidelines. Markings are being drawn on the floor at 83 wet markets to remind people to keep a safe distance from one another when queueing. Be extra careful with cleanliness and personal hygiene. 

Can I go out if I am living with someone who has been issued with a stay-home notice?  


Passengers from London arriving at Changi Airport Terminal 2 on March 24, 2020. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

You do not need to stay home with him, or live elsewhere. But reduce interaction with the person – do not share a bed or eat together, and try to avoid using the same bathroom and toilet. Don't have visitors either. If you are a senior, you should be even more careful, and avoid contact with the other person as much as possible.

I'm getting cabin fever. Is it OK to go out for some fresh air?


Lane segregation being implemented at Toa Payoh Stadium on March 21, 2020. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Generally, this is fine, as long as the place is not too crowded, and you observe safe distancing, with a 1m space between individuals. Go out for a run alone or with a friend, but not for 11-a-side football since this will breach the "no more than 10" rule.

What else can I do to help fight Covid-19 in my daily life? 


The TraceTogether app uses Bluetooth signals between phones to detect other participating users in close proximity. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Download the Government’s contact tracing app TraceTogether, which harnesses Bluetooth technology to identify people who have been in close proximity to a confirmed case. By downloading the app, you can give a significant boost to the painstaking efforts of our contact tracers.

The best way you can help prevent the virus from spreading to you or your loved ones is by behaving responsibly and avoiding unnecessary contact with others. Such efforts will also go a long way towards easing the stress of healthcare workers and others on the front lines of the Covid-19 war.