Coronavirus: Life will not go back to normal after end of circuit breaker period, says Gan Kim Yong

A taped-off playground and seating area in Sengkang. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that if measures taken to curb the virus outbreak were relaxed, they would be done as part of a gradual process that would extend beyond the circuit breaker period
A taped-off playground and seating area in Sengkang. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that if measures taken to curb the virus outbreak were relaxed, they would be done as part of a gradual process that would extend beyond the circuit breaker period. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Life in Singapore will not "revert to normal" when the circuit breaker period ends on May 4, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said yesterday.

If necessary, it would be extended, he told reporters at a virtual press conference.

But even if such a move is not needed, Singaporeans will not see a situation where all the significantly stricter measures are lifted at once and "everyone (can do) what they like", he said.

Some measures may be tightened, and others loosened or fine-tuned, added Mr Gan, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force fighting the Covid-19 outbreak.

Even if the measures were relaxed, they would be done as part of a gradual process that would extend beyond the circuit breaker period, he added.

The minister stressed that the pace of change will depend on the Government's risk assessment of the virus threat at the particular point in time.

"We should not have the idea that at the end of a circuit breaker, everything will revert to normal and you don't have to wear masks any more, we don't have to have distancing any more," he said.

The circuit breaker period, to stem the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore, saw schools and most workplaces closed.

People also have to stay home unless they need to go out for essential activities, like buying food.

They are also required to comply with much stricter safe distancing rules, such as not loitering at void decks or holding social gatherings with family members who do not live in the same household.

 
 
 
 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2020, with the headline 'Life will not go back to normal after end of circuit breaker period: Gan'. Subscribe