Youths remaining cautious even as Singapore moves towards Phase 2

Singaporean youths we spoke to were wary that it might be too crowded in shopping malls on Friday.

Nigel Chin

Published: 15 June 2020, 4:39 PM

Singapore will move into Phase 2 of its reopening on Friday (Jun 19), authorities announced on Monday.

As part of Phase 2, individuals will be allowed to gather in small groups of five. Dining in at restaurants will be allowed and retail businesses can resume operations too.

Here is what four youths felt about the Phase 2 announcement, and what they plan to do on Friday.

Happy that shopping malls are finally reopening 

“I will dine-in at a nearby eatery and probably go to a shopping mall to just walk around a little, it’s been too long! I just can’t wait to visit retail outlets again after so long and do some physical shopping. Nothing beats the thrill of being able to try on a t-shirt or a pair of shoes before buying it.

“Hopefully it’s not too crowded. If it is, i’ll just come back on another day because the last thing I want is for someone who is asymptomatic to pass the virus to me. I do hope that everyone will take the necessary precautions. Don’t get me wrong. I’m very happy of course, but slightly cautious because I’m afraid people who will be out ‘celebrating’ may disregard safe distancing measures.

“On top of the safe distancing measures, I will still wear a mask whenever I’m out and bring along my hand sanitiser to use regularly. Of course, if a place is crowded, I’m going to avoid it. I’m not going to be joining queues if possible.” – Phoon Jia Hui, 26, Freelancer

Youths are glad that they can finally head into shopping malls with its retail outlets all open for businesses. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/NIGEL CHIN

Going to meet my boyfriend

“I’m going to meet my boyfriend on Friday to grab some bagels because we have always done that to celebrate the end of each school semester. This one has been pushed back by 1.5 months!!

“When I first read the news, I immediately thought, ‘Huh so soon?’ I thought the earliest Phase 2 would start would be at least a week after the announcement and I was not hoping for much especially after circuit breaker was previously extended. I was shocked and very excited at first but I am now slightly worried about possibly getting infected since there are definitely going to be large crowds and asymptomatic cases.

“I would probably try to avoid crowded places entirely for the time being and bring a hand sanitiser everywhere I go. I think I will be using spaceout to check the crowd levels in malls before I visit too.” – Vera Lim, 21, Student

Student Vera Lim plans to have a bagel date with her boyfriend – something they have pushed back for 1.5 months. PHOTO CREDIT: KREATED MEDIA VIA UNSPLASH

Can’t wait to head back to the gym

“I’m definitely heading to the gym on Friday! After months of doing home workouts, I can’t wait to go back to the gym, hit the treadmill and do some weights. I’ve been feeling a lot lazier as compared to doing workouts in the gym, so I gotta get my fitness levels up again!

“Upon hearing the announcement, I was honestly so happy I went, ‘thank God!’ It’s such a relief for me because being able to go out and interact with my friends normally would definitely help to keep my mind off things. With so much free time and so little things to do during circuit breaker and Phase 1, it has definitely made me feel constrained and stifled which was terrible for my mental health.

“I hope they will limit the number of people into stores and continue with contact tracing as well as temperature taking! Singaporeans should also continue wearing masks in public to protect themselves from the virus. I feel we should be mindful individuals to continuously practise safe distancing and have minimal contact with others, especially in crowded places. We should also refrain from sharing food and drinks with their friends!” – Abigail Chua, 19, Communications intern

Youths are worried about crowds in public spaces. PHOTO CREDIT: LHAM WICAKSONO VIA UNSPLASH

Only heading out after the first weekend of Phase 2 

“I don’t think I’m heading out on Friday because I feel plenty of people will be out and about and it might be hard to practise safe distancing. That said, I will probably wait for a few more days, maybe after the first weekend of Phase 2, before I will head out to do some shopping because I really miss it. And maybe I’ll visit a rooftop bar to chill with my friends because working from home during circuit breaker and Phase 1 hasn’t been the easiest to cope with.

“When I read the news,  I forwarded the CNA link to my friends and screamed in the living room to celebrate! I also discussed with my family on where we should go for a family dinner together since it has been sometime since we got to eat at a restaurant. But at the same time, we are also worried about the possibility of a second wave in Singapore, and I hope everyone continues to take precautions and stay safe.” – Tan Jingwen, 23, Undergraduate

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