Coronavirus pandemic

Govt service centres, libraries among facilities to reopen gradually

A cordoned-off playground near Changi Village Hawker Centre on Tuesday. Playgrounds in parks and Housing Board estates will reopen from tomorrow, when phase two kicks in. However, public facilities such as libraries and museums will reopen progressiv
A cordoned-off playground near Changi Village Hawker Centre on Tuesday. Playgrounds in parks and Housing Board estates will reopen from tomorrow, when phase two kicks in. However, public facilities such as libraries and museums will reopen progressively instead.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

More public spaces will progressively be made accessible again when Singapore enters phase two of its reopening tomorrow, including public libraries, various government service centres and common areas in public housing estates such as playgrounds and fitness corners.

In a statement yesterday, the Public Service Division (PSD) said the reopenings after the circuit breaker are in tandem with more activities resuming in phase two, but added that programmes and activities which require physical presence will resume in small groups with reduced density, intensity and duration.

For example, community centres will reopen and progressively resume courses and activities in a limited way, with groups kept small and safe distancing measures in place.

The number of people allowed in open court hearings may also be restricted to comply with safe distancing measures.

Libraries, museums and exhibition spaces will also not resume operations immediately tomorrow, but reopen progressively over phase two instead.

Various service centres belonging to government agencies will also begin to operate again in phase two, but on an appointment-only basis. These include the Housing Board's service counters islandwide and the Central Provident Fund Board's five service centres.

However, facilities that may involve large numbers of people interacting with one another in enclosed spaces or for a prolonged period of time will not reopen during phase two in order to minimise the risk of outbreaks of infection.

This means that while parts of public parks and nature reserves previously closed off, such as carparks, fields and lawns, will reopen in phase two, barbecue pits, camping sites and miscellaneous attractions such as galleries in these parks will remain off limits.

However, food and beverage and retail outlets in parks will be allowed to reopen.

Playfields and beaches under the Singapore Land Authority will also reopen, but tourist attractions such as the Science Centre and those on Sentosa will remain closed for now, as will indoor and outdoor performance venues such as theatres and concert halls.

The PSD added that it will continue to encourage citizens to access public services and transactions digitally as much as possible despite the fact that various service centres are able to attend to citizens via appointments. Officers from the various government agencies who can work from home will continue to do so, the PSD said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2020, with the headline 'Govt service centres, libraries among facilities to reopen gradually'. Print Edition | Subscribe