Youth react to nightlife reopening in Singapore
The nightlife scene in Singapore will fully reopen from Apr 19 but COVID-19 measures will still take place.
As Singapore starts treating COVID-19 as an endemic, restrictions have been eased.
This includes allowing nightlife businesses, including nightclubs, discotheques and karaoke outlets, to reopen from Apr 19, as announced on Monday (Apr 4).
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a joint release that these establishments will be subjected to safe management measures, which includes wearing masks while indoors and capacity limits depending on the crowd size. Venues offering dancing as an activity, such as clubs, will also need to ensure patrons produce a negative supervised Antigen Rapid Test result to be allowed to enter.
For those aged 18 to 20, this will be the first time they get to experience nightlife activities.
We spoke to five youths to find out what they’re looking forward to and if they have any concerns regarding the reopening.
Excited for the younger generation
“I’m really excited to see the nightlife culture come back after two years of stagnancy. I’m also interested to see what the younger generation will make of it, considering it’ll be their first experience.
“I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on much but I’m just curious as to what kind of trends could have surfaced if the nightlife scene was never shut down.
“It was evident that businesses would die if restrictions continued any further. But I guess we are so acclimated to the current situation that the news came as a good surprise.” – Kelvin Viloria, 25, Engineer
Missing out on teenage life
“I am really excited for the nightlife business to open once again as this is a huge sign that the country has begun to overcome the pandemic and things will slowly open up eventually. However, of course there are doubts, uncertainty and fear.
“I do feel that I have wasted the tail-end of my teenage years as I was unable to go clubbing. Clubbing not only for the drinks, but to enjoy myself and gain the experience of clubbing in which the older generation really enjoyed doing. It is simply just a form of enjoyment and a method to destress.
“I do have worries and concerns, which mainly stem from fear of COVID-19 as well as the possibility of rules changing again as irresponsible people take advantage of the current protocols” – Hazleeq Shah, 19, Student
Turning 18 became just another birthday rather than a milestone
“I turned 18 during the pandemic and have never experienced nightlife. I’m excited to experience nightlife for the first time.
“I think the impact on youth is their growing desire to club. Before the pandemic, turning 18 was a big milestone for many as it marks the age where one can legally club and buy alcohol. I think that because of the pandemic and nightlife activities are being closed, turning 18 becomes just another age and not so much of a milestone.” – Damian Chong, 19, Student
It’s another step in the return to normalcy
“To be honest, I am quite glad that nightlife businesses are opening again. I’m not someone who would frequent a club or anything like that, but I know people have been waiting for this restriction to be lifted for a long time. I also feel like this will release some tension within Singaporeans and truly give a sense of normalcy – that we are going back to how it once was.
“I haven’t been to a club before, but I don’t think I’ve missed out on anything. It all depends on what you enjoy in life. I’m the type of person who is happy to stay at home and play games, read my book, or sit with my family in front of the TV. I am better suited for relaxing after a long day or week as compared to partying. Some might say I’m missing out on fun times, but I don’t find the thought of it appealing, so it’s really about perspective!
“I would like to go to the KTV with my family and friends. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a KTV too so the idea is really exciting. I can’t wait to torture everyone with my singing.
“I think that we will definitely see a small spike in cases, but I’m not worried about it. It’s part and parcel of easing restrictions. I guess one concern I might have would be how the crowd control would be like, especially on the first day. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and things don’t escalate due to heightened emotions.” – Terri Kue, 20, Student
Would rather stay home
“I’ve never been clubbing, however, personally I doubt the pandemic had much impact on that. I’m naturally quite an introvert, so I doubt I would have sought out that scene even without a global pandemic. That being said, I do think the lack of that option might have caused me to miss out on some valuable time I could have spent with my more extroverted friends.
“I’m still fairly paranoid about catching the virus since I have immunocompromised people living in my household, and I wouldn’t want to pass anything on to my co-workers or friends either. It might be a pretty stagnant mindset since things will eventually open up completely, but it’s one I’m sticking to for now.
“I worry that those who missed out on nightlife activities over the past few years will go out in droves to start again. I have a few friends who love clubbing who I know will be queuing to go again on Apr 19, and I anticipate that’ll be a pretty big potential cluster once that happens.” – Alicia Ang, 20, Intern
Written by Nurul Mardhiah Omar, Kassandra Kasman, and Amanda Tan.