Youth react to COVID-19 Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures

Social gatherings will decrease from groups of five people to two people.

Celeste Lim

Yogurt lover with a Spotify playlist for every mood.

Published: 14 May 2021, 4:22 PM

With the recent increase in local COVID-19 community cases, Singapore has tightened its COVID-19 measures with effect from May 16, 2021 to Jun 13, 2021.

Called Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) or P2HA, the measures include decreasing the sizes for social gatherings from groups of five people to two people. Similarly, households can only receive two visitors per day.

All dining-in at food and beverage establishments, including hawker centres and food courts, will be suspended and work from home will be the new default.

We spoke to some youth to find out how they feel about the new P2HA measures.

Spending more time with immediate family

“I’m not surprised about the tightened COVID-19 measures as the number of community cases has increased over the past few weeks. However, I’m worried about how my family of eight is going to celebrate Hari Raya. 

“As households are only allowed to have two visitors per day, it’s going to be hard for my family to visit our relatives’ homes. I don’t think we can celebrate Hari Raya the same way this year, but I’ll get to build a stronger relationship with my parents and siblings.


Hari Raya is a celebration for Muslims to reconcile with their family members. PHOTO CREDIT: MENTATDGT VIA PEXELS


“However, we can still connect with our relatives through applications like Zoom. Instagram also allows us to share our Hari Raya celebrations with our relatives and friends. 

“Despite all that, I think the measures are reasonable. We were given less strict measures during Phase 3, and some people got complacent. These new measures can prevent high community cases and keep everyone safe.” – Ezra Kamal, 19, Student

Impact on athletic training

“With the new measures, my school’s dragon boat team isn’t allowed to have any face-to-face training. We can only attend online training sessions, where we have to do home bodyweight workouts as a team.

“I don’t think home workouts can effectively replace our previous gym workouts, and our strength will definitely decrease. However, if we train properly, our fitness and cardio endurance will improve.


Instead of her usual strength and weight training in the gym, Rachelle will have to shift to doing more cardio. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/SITOH SHANICE



“I think that the measures are reasonable due to the current state we are in. Not everyone is happy with the current measures that are being implemented, but I think that the government is just doing their job by implementing what is right for the wellbeing and safety of the country.” – Rachelle Stewart, 20, Student

Challenging to film final year project with team

“I’m really sad, but this is something I expected with the new COVID-19 strains and the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster.

“I’m required to film a vlog as part of my final year project. With the tightened measures, it will be difficult for my group of five to film the vlog. I also can’t go back to school as often to meet with my project supervisor. 

“I will also be affected by the measures for congregational and worship services. Instead of attending service physically, I will have to join my church’s weekly Sunday service through YouTube Live. 


Instead of having lunch together, En Hui’s cell group will conduct bi-weekly discussions. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/NOREEN SHAZREEN


“However, I believe the measures are reasonable. Since the community cases are rising, it is safer to stay at home and reduce meeting our friends outside.” – Zhao En Hui, 21, Student

Difficulties with exercising at home

“I’ll be affected mostly by the gym closures because I go to the gym regularly. However, I can just exercise with my equipment at home so it doesn’t affect me too adversely. 

“The problem is that gym equipment is expensive so it’s hard to set up your own home gym. Your weights aren’t as heavy, and you don’t have the equipment to train specific muscles. Most importantly, gym workouts require a lot of space.

“I don’t think home workouts can replace a gym session, but I think they’ll help me hold out until gyms reopen. “Closing gyms is understandable as people usually have their masks off, but I think the other measures are slightly unreasonable as we could have just stuck to the five-person rule.” – Sakthi Kumar, 19, Student

Slightly disappointed to work from home

“I’m working as a digital content producer and I enjoy going out for shoots, planning, and working with people. With more restrictions coming in, we may have to change certain plans, so I’m a little bummed out.

“With my job scope, it’s not easy to work from home. Working from home is fine when I’m doing the administrative stuff, but as a producer, I have to handle some physical stuff like props when preparing for a shoot. 

“Previously, I worked both from home and in the office, and my performance was about the same. I don’t think working from home will affect my job performance much.” – Lee Zhixuan, 19, Production intern

Written by Celeste Lim, Sitoh Shanice, Noreen Shazreen 

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