Singapore’s COVID-19 restrictions to be reviewed in early August

Any easing of restrictions will only apply to the vaccinated.

Brandon Leong

Compulsive playlist maker.

Published: 27 July 2021, 1:32 PM

COVID-19 restrictions will be reviewed in early August, but any easing of measures will only apply to vaccinated people, said co-chair of the multi-ministry task force Lawrence Wong. 

By then, two-thirds of the population and three-quarters of those aged 70 and above would have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Mr Wong said: “So if the clusters are under control, and hospitalisation rates remain low, we will be able to ease some of the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures.

“But the easing will be differentiated and extended to only vaccinated persons, because they are much better protected against the effects of the virus.” 

This means that people who want to dine in at a restaurant or exercise in a gym will have to be fully vaccinated. The same goes for those who want to attend a large event or religious service with more than 100 people, Mr Wong said. 

Singapore’s reopening will be timed with the overall vaccination coverage of the population and its “most vulnerable” seniors. The Government expects around 80 per cent of the population to receive two doses of the vaccine by early September. It hopes to have covered a similar proportion of those aged 70 and above.

Singapore intends to reopen its borders and allow vaccinated people to travel, starting with establishing travel corridors with countries that have “managed COVID-19 well”, and where the infection is controlled. 

Fully vaccinated people can travel without serving the full 14-day stay-home notice in a hotel upon return. Depending on the risk of the country visited, the stay-home notice will be replaced with a “rigorous testing regime” or a seven-day isolation period at home, allowing vaccinated people to travel more freely. 

As Singapore progressively eases restrictions, the focus will be on the minority of infected persons who need supplemental oxygen or require intensive care. At each stage of easing, the Government will monitor the hospitalisation and intensive care numbers to ensure they remain acceptable and stable. If these numbers shoot up, Singapore has to be prepared to “slow down, or even pull back”, said Mr Wong. 

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