Five predictions for what life will be like after the circuit breaker
Here are our five best guesses for what the "new normal" will be after the circuit breaker ends on Jun 1.
The circuit breaker is expected to end Jun 1 and many of us are wondering what we may or may not be able to do once it is over.
Although we can’t say for sure what our “new normal” might be, here are our five predictions on what we think is to come after the circuit breaker:
1. Work from home arrangements will continue
Whether we love or hate it, work from home arrangements will likely remain after Jun 1.
Although some businesses like barbers and laundry shops have already resumed operations, most Singaporeans who are able to work from home should not expect to return to the office so soon.
The end of the circuit breaker does not mean the virus is gone, so we’d still want to minimise our exposure to people as much as possible.
Even for those of us allowed to return to the office, don’t expect pantry hang-outs with your colleagues either because strict safe distancing measures will likely be enforced at workplaces.
It looks like lunch breaks with our colleagues will have to wait.
2. Wider use of contact tracing technology
Singapore has developed contact tracing technologies like TraceTogether and SafeEntry to help speed up contact tracing efforts. However, the take-up rate of these technologies has not been high.
Our recent Youth.SG Instagram poll found that only 51 per cent of the 78 youth respondents have downloaded the app.
Although the 51 per cent of youths we polled is double the general Singapore population of 25 per cent who have downloaded the app, it is still far below the 75 per cent needed to make it effective.
We may expect a greater push to download the app as we begin to go out after the circuit breaker.
We can also be expected to check-in at shopping malls or workplaces by scanning our NRICs or QR codes at the door using the SafeEntry system.
SafeEntry is a digital check-in system for businesses and workplaces to speed up contact tracing efforts if there has been a confirmed case at a venue.
Here’s a tip for a speedy check-in: download the latest version of the SingPass app to have your details automatically filled in when you check into a venue!
3. More testing for vulnerable groups and the community
We can expect more COVID-19 tests to be administered among the population, as part of a nationwide testing plan to detect unlinked cases in the community.
About 40,000 tests are expected to be conducted daily in Singapore, with priority given to healthcare workers, migrant workers and residents and staff of nursing homes.
If you are expected to return to work soon, you may be tested as well to ensure that you can return to work safely after the circuit breaker. On May 14, it was announced that pre-school staff will be required to undergo the test in preparation for the reopening of centres.
Tests may also be administered among the general population to get a sense of overall transmission numbers.
4. Eating out with your friends and going to concerts will have to wait
Don’t expect to hit the clubs or dine-in at your favourite restaurants right after the circuit breaker ends. It will likely be a while before we can attend festivals, concerts, or football matches after the circuit breaker, as these are potential hotspots for the virus to spread.
We would also probably have to postpone our long-awaited lunch and dinner dates with friends at restaurants as this is an activity that increases the risk of the virus spreading.
5. Safe distancing measures will remain
Although the circuit breaker ending means that more measures will be relaxed, we will still be expected to keep a safe distance from others to prevent the virus from transmitting.
This means that it will likely be awhile before we can hang out with large groups of friends, as social interactions will likely still be kept to a minimum.
We also anticipate that religious gatherings and services will not resume immediately as this brings large groups of people into close contact with each other.
It may also be time to think about how we can incorporate wearing a mask into our OOTDs when we leave our homes, as we continue to maintain high levels of personal hygiene after the circuit breaker.
Although many of us are growing restless staying at home and are looking forward to returning to our normal lives after the circuit breaker, it is unlikely that all measures will be lifted immediately, so as not to cause a spike in the number of cases.
We need to be vigilant and ease into our “new normal” to avoid another circuit breaker being put in place again.