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Covid-19 Phase 2 Heightened Alert – What You Need To Know

With a drastic increase in the number of Covid-19 community cases, we’ve now entered Phase 2 Heightened Alert which will take effect on 16 May till 13 June. “We are in a stage of heightened alert. I would urge everyone to be vigilant and minimise unnecessary social interactions,” said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. So how does this affect mums and caregivers all round? Here are the latest measures to take note of.
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As main caregivers for some, grandparents do not make up the 2 visitors per household limit and they are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
As main caregivers for some, grandparents do not make up the 2 visitors per household limit and they are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Photo Credit: Alex Green from Pexels
By Seraphina Khoo
May 14, 2021

Group Size Reduced From 5 to 2

The magic number is 2 for groups and this applies across the board which includes heading out to the supermarket for groceries. 2 visitors are allowed to visit each household per day and the number of overall social gatherings per day is also limited to no more than 2. However, this number does not apply to grandchildren being cared for by grandparents so alternative caregiver arrangements need not be arranged yet at this time. The Health Ministry went on to say that grandparents are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against Covid-19, to protect both themselves and their grandchildren as well as minimise intermingling between grandchildren from different households.

Work-from-home will be the default with Phase 2 Heightened Alert put in place from May 16 to June 13, 2021.
Work-from-home will be the default with Phase 2 Heightened Alert put in place from May 16 to June 13, 2021. Photo Credit: Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

No Dining-In And Indoor Activities Where Masks Are Required To Be Removed

There will be no dining-in at F&B establishments and this includes food courts and hawker centres. Opt for takeaway and delivery if prepping meals at home is not an option. Strenuous indoor activities exercises are not allowed as well as personalised services like facials and saunas. Additionally, singing and playing of wind instruments are prohibited. Medical and dental services will still be available but do check for the limit in capacity and updates to opening hours in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Work-From-Home Is The Default

Work-from-home will be the default for working mums and employers are to ensure this is adhered to much as possible. Check with your employers for flexible working hours as staggered start times are also to be implemented. Social gatherings are not allowed in any case if you need to report to the office.

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Limit on Event Size and Pre-Event Testing (PET)

If you’ve purchased tickets for any future events with the family, do note that attractions, shows and live performances will be operating at 25%. At this time, limit outings with the kids to museums and libraries as their capacity are reduced also to 25%. Indoor and outdoor shows, performances, cinemas and solemnisations will be capped at 50 people without PET and 100 people with PET. Masks are to be worn at all times for audiences, speakers and performers. Shopping malls should also be avoided where possible. Wedding banquets and receptions are not allowed and only a maximum of 20 people allowed on all days for wakes and at funerals.

Time to dish out the all-important grocery list, plan family meals to cook. Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing assures that Singapore has adequate stocks and reminds all to only buy what is needed.
Time to dish out the all-important grocery list, plan family meals to cook. Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing assures that Singapore has adequate stocks and reminds all to only buy what is needed. Photo Credit: Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Sports Activities Limited to Groups of 2

If you’ve booked your kids for their weekly programs or upcoming sports camps, do note the updated restrictions for low and high intensity activities. Organised programs and classes for low-intensity activities will have to carry out their sessions in groups of 2. Multiple groups of 2 will be allowed for these classes, with a maximum of 30 participants. The different groups are not allowed to intermingle and have to be 3-meters apart. An additional service provider such as an instructor or a coach may guide the group. 

As for indoor “high-risk environments”, which include indoor public and private gyms and fitness, exercise and dance studios, these will remain closed unless they only offer low-intensity physical activities. For high-intensity outdoor activities such as swimming, where masks have to be removed, only 2 people are allowed and there can be no multiple groups of two; this includes the coach or instructor.

Mass participation sport events will remain suspended and all other sport events will have to be approved before proceeding. Those that can continue will have to proceed without spectators. Visit the Sports Singapore website for more information.

No F&B and Intermingling During Staycations

Do take note of the staycations guidelines if you’ve reserved your stay with the family for the upcoming holidays. There will be no F&B dining-in or activities where masks are not used. There is a limit in the total occupancy in common areas e.g. lobby, to no more than 1 individual per 16 sqm of space accessible to guests and visitors at any point in time and intermingling at lobby and common areas between groups are not allowed. Visit the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) website here for more information.

Increased Testing

In any case during this time if you’re presenting Acute Respiratory Infection symptoms, you will be administered with the antigen rapid test and PCR test which is funded by the government. As well, from May 15, these tests can be done at 200 Swab-and-Send-home Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs).

Aside from the above measures, do practice good hygiene as a family by washing your hands with soap and water or cleaning them with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser is a routine. Even at home, ensure high-touch surfaces, such as door handles, tables, chairs, toilets, sinks, remotes and mobile phones are cleaned and disinfected daily. It would be ideal to launder washable plush toys and even clothes with a higher temperature setting (where possible) and dry them completely.