Youth react to tightened COVID-19 measures

Due to the recent upsurge in community cases, COVID-19 measures will be tightened from May 8.

Celeste Lim

Yogurt lover with a Spotify playlist for every mood.

Published: 5 May 2021, 1:07 PM

In light of the developing COVID-19 situation in Singapore, authorities have tightened several COVID-19 measures. 

Between May 8 to May 30, the limit on group sizes for social gatherings will be decreased from eight to five. Gymnasiums and fitness studios will also be closed, and only 50 per cent of employees can return to the office.

From May 17, TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be implemented as well.

We spoke to some youth to find out how they will be affected by the new measures, and what they are doing to prevent the COVID-19 situation from worsening.

Hopes to celebrate Hari Raya with family

“Due to the strict COVID-19 restrictions, we didn’t leave the house to visit anyone during Hari Raya last year. Since my family is more tech-savvy, we decided to hold a Zoom meeting and invite our relatives over for a virtual celebration from the comfort of our homes. It was very meaningful and sentimental.

“For Hari Raya this year, my family and I are excited that we finally get to see our closest relatives in real life. However, we are still wary of the COVID-19 situation, and are already prepared for the scenario that we won’t get to go visiting this year. 

“At this point, we’re still unsure of how to proceed with our visitations. My family is small and we already cut down on visiting my grandparents from both sides of the family, so I hope that we still get to celebrate Hari Raya with others this year.

“We hope to just visit my grandparents. As for other relatives, we can always meet each other virtually through Zoom again!” – Aida Yasmin, 18, Intern

Would rather work in the office

“My company definitely took the restrictions very seriously. Instead of waiting until the next week, we all started working from home when the news was announced. Different departments will go back on specific weeks so that we will minimise contact with one another.


Ethan expects that working from home will be quite challenging for him. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/NOREEN SHAZREEN


“I definitely prefer working in the office. In my company, we receive a lot of parcels for the spare parts of ships, and we have to send these items out once they’ve arrived. Without working in the office, it’ll be very difficult to keep track the parcels. 

“In the office, I also have two monitors that have their own security system. At home, I just have a laptop, and I’ll have to toggle between various tabs at the same time.

“Working from home will definitely worsen my work performance, as being in my office allows me to ask my colleagues for help easily. After all, some tasks are easier to explain face-to-face.” – Ethan Lim, 19, Shipping agency intern

Tightening the measures was the right move

“I’ll miss meeting my extended family the most, as we meet quite frequently to go out and chill. I was also going to start exercising but the gym closed, so that was bad timing. 

“Overall, I think that tightening the measures was the right move. As a country, I think we’ve done well in keeping the virus under control. We certainly don’t want to end up with many COVID-19 cases, so a partial tightening before things get worse is the right move.

“Once the new measures kick in on Saturday, I think the surge will be brought under control rapidly. Instead of another circuit breaker, I reckon we should be back to the usual Phase Three measures within a month or two.

“I think we should all do our part to get vaccinated and keep our masks up in crowded areas. Masking up all the time is uncomfortable, but it’s necessary when outside.” – Sean Yeo, 18, Intern

Losing fitness progress without a gym

“I usually go to the gym at least three times a week. I usually do squats, hip thrusts, deadlifts, seated rows and shoulder presses.

“Fortunately, I’m able to do some of those exercises at home as I have the equipment. However, the weights I have at home are not challenging enough compared to the heavy loads I use in the gym. This will probably cause some of my strength to deteriorate, and I’ll lose some of the progress I worked so hard to achieve in the gym.


While Caitlin can still work out outside of the gym, she would rather exercise with heavier weights at the gym. PHOTO CREDIT: DION LIM


“While tightening COVID-19 measures is definitely the right move, I think that the government could have shut down places such as bars. After all, gyms and fitness studios are actually beneficial to people, and they already have tight measures to cater to maintaining the social distancing rules.” – Caitlin Denise, 20, Student

Staying socially responsible

“We aren’t children anymore, and should play our own part to be socially responsible by masking up, washing up and staying home if we’re sick. These are fundamentals that should have been ingrained in us since our experience last year.


We should remember to check out with TraceTogether whenever we leave a location. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/BARANI VICNAN


“The government has already done their part to put measures in place but it’s on us to make these measures successful in fighting the COVID-19 battle. Our own positive behaviours can encourage those around us to adopt the same and, better yet, keep everyone safe from the virus. 

“We are adults. We know better.” – Eudora Tan, 33, Advertising

Written by Celeste Lim, Sitoh Shanice, Ong Xynthea

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