Singapore’s COVID-19 circuit breaker extended until June 1

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the extension of the circuit breaker for four more weeks after a spike in cases since its implementation.
By: | April 21, 2020

The circuit breaker period to help curb the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Singapore has been extended for four more weeks until June 1, with more workplaces to be closed to reduce the number of workers providing essential services.

Despite the implementation of the circuit breaker on April 7 which was due to end on May 4, there has been a massive spike in cases since then, although majority of the cases are from foreign worker dormitories. This has brought the total number of cases in Singapore over the 9,000 mark.

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Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in the announcement of the circuit breaker extension on April 21, “Many will be disappointed by the extension of the circuit breaker, especially our business and workers, who are hurting greatly.

“But I hope you understand that this short-term pain is to stamp out the virus, protect the health and safety of our loved ones, and allow us to revive our economy.”

“We also want to make sure that if any leakage occurs from the dorms to the wider community, we can detect and contain it early, and prevent new clusters from forming and bursting out of control,” he added.

He also called on all Singaporeans to stay home as far as possible, and urged those who have to go out to do so alone and not as a group or with family.

“It is not just about adhering to the letter of the law. The spirit of the guidelines is to reduce movement to a minimum, and to avoid being out and about in the community. This is the way to protect yourself, your family and everyone else,” he said.

Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC urged employers and workers to stay united and get through this together. He told HRM Asia, “It is a difficult time for employers and workers with this extension of the circuit breaker. Many facets and aspects of our daily lives will be affected but we know the tightened circuit breaker measures are needed for us to overcome this crisis and I hope every one of us will do our part to ride through this together.

“Employers in certain sectors will be more deeply affected but there will be hardships faced across the board. I urge employers to work closely with their unions/workers and explore all ways to save jobs. It is times like these where open communication, trust and empathy are key,” he added.