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According to health minister Gan Kim Yong, phase 2 will be a gradual process towards a new normal in phase 3

When the clock strikes 12 tonight, Singapore will officially be entering phase two of its three-phased safe re-opening. In phase two, most of Singapore’s economy will be re-opened, as retailers, F&B outlets, consumer services, sports facilities and clubs open their doors. Social gatherings would finally be allowed in groups of up to five people. However, religious services and congregations, cultural venues, large-scale events and entertainment venues—identified as opportunities for large clusters to form—will remain closed.

The announcement of phase two on June 15 had taken many by surprise, as the nation had just entered phase one on June 2. But the news has also led many to wonder when we would enter the third and final phase that is described as the “new normal” for Singapore.

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The exact date is still up in the air, as national development minister Lawrence Wong had noted that “phase two could carry on for months” during the press conference. However, health minister Gan Kim Yong clarified that the re-opening of Singapore would not come to a standstill during phase two, describing it as a “process”.

“As we progress in phase two, we will continuously monitor the situation, and when the situation allows we will continue to ease the restrictions somewhat,” Mr Gan said.

He explained that safety measures such as one-metre social distancing and the cap of five persons in any social groups could be eased to “10 persons, or a different number, depending on the situation” if the situation continues to be stable in the coming weeks or month. The minister also shared that the task force is in discussions with services and venues that remain closed, such as events and religious organisations.

“When they are ready, when they are able to put in place safe distancing measures, we will progressively allow them to start their operations. We may allow a smaller scale to start with, and over time increase the scale for them to allow more people to join in the events,” he said.

“This will progress as we go along, and when we reach phase three, we are probably going to hold that position for quite a long time until a vaccine is available. When that will happen we do not know, but it will not be static… Basically phase two is a process, and phase three is the eventual endpoint.”

According to the safe re-opening outline shared by the Government, social, cultural, religious and business gatherings or events would have resumed in phase three, although the size of the gatherings would be limited. Seniors, who are at high-risk for the coronavirus, would also be able to safely resume day-to-day activities while ensuring safe distancing and avoiding crowded places. Singapore is also gradually re-opening our borders to conduct essential activities overseas.

Until then, citizens are advised to continue wearing masks in public, practising safe distancing, refraining from talking when on public transport, and maintaining good personal hygiene. And while we are now able to visit our favourite retail outlets and restaurants again, it is best to avoid large crowds whenever possible. See our list of stay-home activities to keep you and loved ones entertained indoors.