Coronavirus: Singapore

Some hopeful, others vexed by new measures

Singaporeans The Sunday Times (ST) spoke to were split over new measures announced yesterday to tackle Covid-19.

Some were hopeful that the measures would 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 the expanded curbs, those who are unvaccinated will not be able to dine at hawker centres and coffee shops, enter shopping malls or visit attractions from Wednesday. They will, however, be able to buy takeaway food.

Among those who are happy with the new rules is Mr Dave Tan, 46. The business process manager in an oil and gas company said the rules would benefit the community and encourage those eligible for the Covid-19 jab to get vaccinated if they have not done so.

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

"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 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 minimise social contact between people and hopefully bring down the rate of transmission."

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

Mr Timothy Yeo, 39, who works in the aviation industry, said the measures discriminate against people who are unvaccinated.

"Can we at least allow unvaccinated individuals to go to shopping malls to run their errands?" he asked.

To bar unvaccinated individuals from dining at restaurants is 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 ST spoke to said they did not wish to get the jab because they see the vaccine as ineffective in preventing the transmission of the virus.

According to medical experts, 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.

The experts 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 10, 2021, with the headline 'Some hopeful, others vexed by new measures'. Subscribe