New curbs leave some S'poreans hopeful over controlling spread of Covid-19, others vexed

Under the expanded curbs, those who are unvaccinated will not be able to dine at hawker centres and coffee shops but can buy takeaway food. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans The Straits Times spoke to were split over new measures announced on Saturday (Oct 9) to tackle Covid-19.

Some were hopeful that the measures might curb the spread of Covid-19 in the community, while others said it would disrupt their lifestyle and access to food and retail services.

Under expanded curbs, those who are unvaccinated will not be able to dine at hawker centres and coffee shops from next Wednesday (Oct 13), but they can buy takeaway food.

They will also not be allowed to enter shopping malls or visit attractions from next Wednesday.

Some people who are happy about the new rules include Mr Dave Tan, 46.

The business process manager in an oil and gas company said that he supported the new rules, as they would benefit the community and encourage people who are eligible for the jab to get vaccinated if they have not done so.

"We have given sufficient time for people to adjust and have their vaccination.

"I just had a conversation with a friend who refused to get vaccinated and did not give a reason. He said he won't get vaccinated until it becomes a regulation.

"Other than those who cannot get vaccinated for health reasons, I think getting vaccinated is a personal responsibility," he added.

Retail executive Sareena Yee, who regularly interacts with customers in her line of work, said that the measures are necessary for Singapore to continue pushing towards an endemic Covid-19 road map.

Ms Yee, who is in her 40s, said: "It may not be the best move. But given the current situation, this may help to minimise social contact between people and hopefully bring down the rate of transmission."

Some residents said that the measures were extreme and would curtail their access to services.

Mr Timothy Yeo, 39, a professional in the aviation industry, said that the measures discriminated against people who were unvaccinated.

"Can we at least allow unvaccinated individuals to go to shopping malls to run their errands, such as getting a haircut, buying household supplies or essential items?"

To bar unvaccinated individuals from dining at restaurants is already a harsh-enough measure, said Mr Yeo. "But to ban an unvaccinated individual from even entering the shopping centre is a low blow," he added.

Unvaccinated individuals who spoke to The Straits Times said that they did not wish to get the jab because they perceived the vaccine to be ineffective in preventing the transmission of the virus.

According to medical experts ST spoke to previously, Covid-19 vaccines protect people from symptoms and more severe forms of the disease but are not designed to fully prevent them from being infected.

They said inoculation was vital because although those who have had the jabs may still catch the virus, they are much less likely to get seriously ill than unvaccinated patients.

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