What can, and can’t, your family do as Singapore introduces Covid-19 circuit breaker to prevent escalating coronavirus infections, from April 7 till at least May 4? We round up the list of common activities here.
IF I NEED TO… SEND MY CHILDREN TO SCHOOL
• All schools and institutes of higher learning will shift to full home-based learning from Wednesday till at least May 4. This means students will log in from home and be taught remotely by their teachers.
• School-based mid-year exams will be cancelled. But national exams like the mid-year O-and A-level mother tongue exams, the PSLE and final-year exams will continue.
… OR ENRICHMENT CLASSES
• Face-to-face tuition, music lessons, dance classes, sports training and other such activities will all be put on hold.
(Also read: Home-Based Learning for Singapore school children: How you can better support your kid)
IF I NEED TO… SEND MY CHILDREN TO PRESCHOOL
• Preschools will be closed. But parents/guardians who are working in essential services and are unable to find alternative care arrangements will get help in looking after their children. Priority will be given to children of healthcare workers as well as those of low-wage or daily-wage workers employed in essential services.
• In addition, selected care services for students such as those in student care centres and special education schools will be open. Parents should approach their child’s preschool or school for help.
(Also read: Covid-19: Baby and kid items every parent should clean and sanitise, but often neglect)
IF I WANT TO… TAKE MY KIDS OUT
• Please don’t.
• In any case, all museums and attractions such as the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Kidzania (pictured) and the Science Centre Singapore will be closed.
• Curious minds can continue to explore the digital platforms of these attractions. Find them on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
(Also read: Covid-19 stay home activities: What Zoe Tay, Fann Wong and Singapore celeb parents are doing with their kids)
• Singapore’s two integrated resorts will also be shut, to varying degrees.
• Marina Bay Sands’ website says it will close the hotel, all attractions, including the Artscience Museum, The Shoppes, food and beverage outlets, and the casino from Tuesday to May 4.
• Resorts World Sentosa will suspend its casino, Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island from tomorrow. It also will not take in new guests. But some eateries will remain open for takeaway and deliveries. These include Malaysian Food Street, Pizzeria, Osia Steak and Seafood Grill, and Feng Shui Inn.
IF I WANT TO… EAT OUT
• Sorry, dining out is no longer an option.
• While food and beverage outlets will remain open, they can do only takeaway and delivery. In fact, you cannot even eat or drink while waiting for your food to be prepared.
• F&B outlets include restaurants, hawker centres, coffee shops and foodcourts. They also include any outlet that has a food licence. This means cupcake shops, coffee chain outlets, bak kwa franchises and bubble tea chains will stay open – but only for takeaway.
IF I WANT TO… ORDER FOOD IN
• Food delivery services are big now, so you might want to download their apps. The big boys are Foodpanda, Deliveroo and GrabFood.
• Smaller eateries, hawker stalls and cafes that currently do not offer food on delivery are advised to sign up for a scheme by Enterprise Singapore that will help to lower costs of using online food delivery platforms.
IF I NEED TO… SEE A DOCTOR
• All public and private hospitals remain open, as do all general practitioner clinics, polyclinics, offsite specialist clinics and community hospitals.
• Dialysis services and other renal replacement services will also be open.
• But if you are planning to get your Botox fix or do your annual health screening, you will have to wait. The Health Ministry classifies these as non-essential services.
(Also read: How to explain Covid-19 outbreak to kids: Fun videos, slides, e-books by Singaporeans)
IF I NEED TO… GO TO WORK
• As far as practicable, companies are supposed to allow employees to work from home and do telecommuting. This applies especially to vulnerable groups such as older workers and pregnant women.
• For those who must be at the workplace – such as those manning essential services – companies must ensure there are safe distancing measures in place. These include cutting down on physical meetings, staggering working hours and making sure you sit at least 1m away from your colleagues.
(Also read: How to work from home with kids: 5 stress-free tips for parents)
IF MY KIDS WANT TO… BUY OR BORROW A BOOK
• Bookstores will be closed.
• So, too, will all 25 public libraries from Tuesday till May 4. All on-site services, including book drops and reservation lockers, will be unavailable as well. Good news, though: If you have already borrowed a book, loan expiry dates will be extended until three weeks after the library reopens. No overdue fines will be imposed. The library’s digital services will also remain available on its website and app. This means you can continue to borrow e-books and audio books.
IF I NEED TO… GET NEW SPECTACLES FOR MY KIDS AND REPAIR STUFF
• Services that provide the repair of consumer electronics and household appliances will continue.
• Hardware stores selling building and maintenance-related equipment and tools will be open.
• Optician services and the sale of optical products will also be available.
IF I WANT TO… EXERCISE
• Most sports and recreational centres will be shut.
• Public swimming pools, such as those at the 26 Sport Singapore (SportSG) swimming complexes, will be closed, as will public sports halls and private gyms and fitness studios.
• Country clubs will be closed, and Singapore’s 15 golf courses will be out of bounds from Tuesday.
• Hotels will have to shut their recreational facilities.
• If you live in a condominium, swimming pools and gyms there will also be out of bounds.
• Bowling centres and billiard halls, which had already stopped operating since last month, will remain shut.
• All is not lost. You can still get your exercise by running or walking around the neighbourhood. Head for uncrowded spaces and practise safe distancing when there are more people. Public parks and SportSG’s 17 open-air stadiums remain open.
• To give you an idea of how crowded a park is before heading out, check the National Parks Board’s map at https://safedistparks.nparks.gov.sg.
• There is always the option of working out at home by logging on to fitness classes online.
(Also read: Fun stay-home activities for kids age 3 to 6)
IF I WANT TO… VISIT RELATIVES OR FRIENDS
• Try to avoid socialising beyond your own household.
• Try not to move from place to place. Reside in one place for now.
• You can still keep in touch with family members and friends through video calls or phone calls.
(Also read: Covid-19 outbreak: 5 ways to show your love for Grandpa, Grandma)
IF I NEED TO… BUY GROCERIES
• Do not worry. Wholesale markets, wet markets, supermarkets and provision shops will still be open.
• The food supply chain – including food being flown in, the manufacture of food, as well as abattoirs – will still be operating. There is no need to hoard food.
• But when you go shopping, you must keep a safe distance from others. Follow the markings on the floor, including at wet markets.
(Also read: How to stop your kids from fighting, get along better)
IF I WANT TO… GET A HAIRCUT OR FACIAL
• Hair salons and barber services will be open but only to provide simple haircuts. This means no perming and colouring, which can take hours.
• Outlets that provide services such as facials, beauty treatments, as well as nail salons, will be shut.
(Also read: Pregnancy and coronavirus: Gynae tips and facts you must know)
IF I NEED TO… TAKE MY PET TO THE VET
•Veterinary services will be open to provide emergency and non-elective services, including hospitalisation of your pets.
•There is also no need to hoard pet food. Pet supplies stores will be open.
•Do note that you should not be sending your pets for grooming. But you can take them out to parks for runs.
IF I WANT TO… GO SHOPPING
• Retail therapy can wait, right? In any case, big stores such as Takashimaya and Ikea, as well as boutiques and retail outlets, including chains like Uniqlo and Zara, will be shut.
(Also read: 6 good hygiene habits every parent must teach their toddler)
IF I WANT TO… GO ONLINE
• Telcos will continue to operate.
• You will still get your mobile and Internet access and can also watch TV and listen to the radio. The Sunday Times understands that telcos’ outlets will remain open.
IF I WANT TO… SEND A LETTER
• No change to postal services and mail – and newspaper – delivery.
IF I NEED TO… DUMP TRASH
• Waste collection and disposal services will continue.
IF I NEED TO… VISIT SOMEONE IN HOSPITAL
• Ward visitors are allowed but numbers will be controlled. Check the hospital’s website for details or call to check.
• For example, from yesterday, Tan Tock Seng Hospital will allow each patient to nominate up to four visitors for the duration of his hospital stay.
• You are also advised to wear your own surgical mask when visiting patients in the wards.
IF I WANT TO… GAMBLE
• The two casinos will be closed.
• Singapore Pools is also suspending all lottery draws and shutting its outlets from Tuesday until further notice.
• The Singapore Turf Club, which manages horse betting, will suspend race meetings from Tuesday.
• But 4D lottery draws today will continue as planned. You can collect your prize payments until tomorrow. The prize claim period will be extended and more information on this will be provided later.
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.
(Photos: The Straits Times)
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