askST: Can home tuition continue and is it ok for my part-time maid to visit my house under new Covid-19 rules?

A woman walks past a coffee shop open for take-away orders next to Clementi Mall on April 7, 2020. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

With Singapore going into "circuit-breaker" mode from yesterday and home-based learning for students starting today, The Straits Times answers questions some still have about what they can do.

Q Is it okay to continue private face-to-face home tuition?

A No. Social contact should be confined to family members living in the same household.

Private tutors must suspend all face-to-face lessons, like how tuition centres have stopped group sessions.

Tutors and students can continue with lessons online.

Q I will be graduating this year. Can I attend the ceremony?

A No, if you are a polytechnic or Institute of Technical Education student. There will be no ceremonies for this year's graduating cohort.

But arrangements will be made for diplomas, certificates and transcripts to be delivered instead.

Q I'm feeling anxious and stressed about the pandemic. What should I do?

A If you are feeling stressed - whether over finances or marital and family tensions - you can soon call the National Care hotline. Trained officers can link you with social service agencies and specialised services.

While this hotline is being set up, Singaporeans can access other services, such as by visiting the CPH counselling website for counselling help relating to marriage, family and divorce issues for free.

Q I want to wash, cut and blow my hair. Can I do that?

A Cutting, blowing and washing of hair are okay but must be kept below an hour. Colouring, perming or any form of "chemical" treatment is out.

Q I am going to move house. Can that continue?

A Yes. Third-party logistics providers, including companies that provide moving services, can continue operations.

Q Can my freelance cleaner or part-time maid still come to my house?

A No, you will have to do the cleaning yourself. Home-cleaning services, including freelance ones, are not permitted to continue.

Q Can I still do furniture or IT delivery? It might take time to set up.

A Yes, you can, but delivery and installation personnel must comply with the health and safe distancing advisories.

These include wearing masks at all times, minimising contact and interaction with others throughout and complying with the 1m safe distancing measure.

If items require on-site installation, personnel must adhere to these guidelines and leave the premises once the job is completed. The number of staff involved should be kept to a minimum.

Q Are shops like Marks & Spencer that also sell food allowed to open?

A No. Retail outlets and department stores that provide predominantly non-essential services must close. But they can continue operating online platforms.

Q Can I still go to my motor workshop for vehicle repairs?

A You cannot conduct routine servicing and minor work on the vehicle during this period. However, towing, recovery and repair of vehicles that have broken down or that have been damaged in an accident are allowed.

Q Can I bid for a certificate of entitlement (COE) this month?

A COE bidding exercises are suspended. Updates on bidding exercises beyond this month will be provided.

Q What if my car is due for inspection?

A The Land Transport Authority has deferred periodic inspections for private cars. These car owners should not go to the authorised inspection centres during the circuit-breaker period.

Q Can I still play basketball, football or tennis in my Housing Board or condominium courts? Or perhaps windsurf, fly a kite, go fishing or even skateboarding?

A No to everything. HDB and condominium courts are closed during this period.

Windsurfing, kite flying, fishing and skateboarding (unless done as a form of commute) are otherwise considered recreational activities that are not allowed, as they might attract like-minded participants, resulting in the congregation of people from different households.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2020, with the headline askST: Can home tuition continue and is it ok for my part-time maid to visit my house?. Subscribe