SINGAPORE - Work, school and exercise. People here are back on their usual routines as the air quality improves on Tuesday.
The three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) is now in the moderate range, standing at 75 as of 3pm on Tuesday afternoon. The 24-hour PSI reading at 3pm is however still slightly in the unhealthy level, ranging from 98 to 118 across the country.
Singaporeans were forced indoors on Monday night, with some forgoing their night jogs when the three-hour PSI climbed to the unhealthy level of 153 at 7pm on Monday. It remained in the unhealthy range till 4am Tuesday morning before abating.
With the air noticeably clearer by the time people left their homes for work on Tuesday morning, they were seen going about their day as per normal.
The Straits Times did not see any office worker in the central business district wearing a N95 mask. Likewise, other precautionary measures, be it to stay indoors for lunch or to hop on a bus instead of walk, were not on the minds of most office workers interviewed.
"Staying totally indoors will be a consideration only if the PSI hits 300 and beyond," said branding executive Marcus Yong, 27.
Similarly, tax assistant Rebecca Chan, 24, said: "I will think twice about exercising outdoors but other than that I will proceed with my daily activities since the exposure is short."
Teacher Wendy Ng, 29, who was on her way to school in Ang Mo Kio on Tuesday morning, said while the air seems fresher she is not hopeful of a clear day.
"The haze comes and goes very unpredictably," she said. "Take yesterday for instance, I checked the PSI before I went cycling and it was in the moderate range, but it crept higher and higher and was 140 when I was done."
The National Environment Agency said in an advisory on Monday that hazy conditions will persist to Tuesday.
When it is in the unhealthy range of above 100, people should cut down and avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical activity, especially the elderly, pregnant women, children and people with chronic lung or heart diseases. At moderate levels of between 50 to 100, normal activities can still be carried out.