SINGAPORE - All beaches in Singapore were closed to the public on Saturday (April 11) as circuit breaker measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus and get Singaporeans to stay home were tightened further.
Announcing the move in a Facebook post on Saturday, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said the Government has to do what is right and necessary to protect Singaporeans in a public health crisis.
"In theory, we could keep most places open, so long as safe distancing measures are strictly adhered to. But increasingly we see that this is hard to achieve. So tougher measures are necessary," said Mr Wong, who is co-chair of the multi-ministry taskforce against the coronavirus.
Singapore reported 198 new cases on Friday as the total number of infections climbed past the 2,000-mark to 2,108. On Saturday, the figure hit 2,299.
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources also issued more than 3,000 stern warnings and 50 fines on Saturday.
On Friday, more than 2,900 stern warnings and 40 fines were issued. In total, more than 6,200 stern warnings and 90 fines have been issued since April 7, said the ministry.
It also said police assistance was required in about 20 cases where members of the public were not cooperative when asked to comply with the safe distancing measures.
Two men are being investigated for offences under the Liquor Control Act and Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 for drinking at an HDB void deck in Marsiling Road at about 1.20am on Saturday.
Mask-wearing will also soon be made compulsory for all commuters taking public transport, and will continue beyond the circuit breaker period.
Mr Wong reiterated that Singaporeans must drastically reduce contact with others for the circuit breaker to be effective, even as he acknowledged that there are people who "genuinely find it hard to adjust".
"I continue to receive a lot of feedback on the circuit breaker measures... Some say that it's only a partial lockdown and ask for a full lockdown, which they think will be more effective," he said.
"Others say the current measures are already too restrictive and causing mental and social problems for themselves and their families... We will do our best to support them."
He added: "We have to sustain this effort not just for a few days but till the end of the month at least. So stay home as much as possible."