All retail outlets in S'pore, except those providing essential services, to close from Apr. 7, 2020

Circuit breakers.

Ashley Tan | April 03, 2020, 05:54 PM

The Singapore government has introduced more stringent measures to clamp down on the rising number of local unlinked cases.

The announcement of these measures in a press conference by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) on Apr. 3 was preceded by a national address by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

In his address, PM Lee advised Singaporeans to stay home as much as possible.

He said that gatherings and socialising should be confined to those within one's household.

PM Lee also announced that most workplaces are to close, except for essential services and key economic sectors.

This will take effect from next Tuesday (Apr. 7).

Only specific retail outlets in mall to open

Further details on which services were to remain open during this period of time were subsequently given.

MTF elaborated that retail outlets that will remain open are those that provide items and services necessary to support the daily living needs of the population.

These include:

  • Pharmacies
  • Restaurants
  • Food and beverage outlets
  • Convenience stores
  • Supermarkets and grocery retailers
  • Wet markets and wholesale markets
  • Hardware stores
  • Pet supplies stores
  • Vehicle recovery stores
  • Banking services

Specific outlets in malls will remain open for this purpose.

However, restaurants, hawker centres, coffeeshops, food courts and other food and beverage outlets will remain open only for takeaway or delivery.

All other physical retail outlets will be closed.

Other selected services

Other selected services required for daily living (e.g. hairdressers/ barbers, lift maintenance, laundry), transport services, and telecommunications services will remain open.

Food suppliers — such as food and food ingredient production, food manufacturing, food processing, food caterers, importers and traders, and food logistics, cold stores/ warehouses, food safety testing — will remain open.

The public can be assured of the continued availability of food items.

Earlier on Friday (Apr. 3), FairPrice CEO Seah Kian Peng said in a Facebook post that supermarkets would remain open "come what may".

These heightened measures will be in place for four weeks (or two incubation cycles) from Apr. 7 till May 4.

PM Lee has described these measures as "circuit breakers", which aim to reduce the rising trend of locally transmitted cases in the past week.

Schools to shift to full home-based learning

Other measures to increase safe distancing is the closure of schools.

PM Lee announced in his address that all schools and Institutes of Higher Learning would be transitioning to full home-based learning from Apr. 8 onwards.

This was reiterated by Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung during the press conference.

Top photo from Aloysius Tan / Google Maps