Singaporeans make a cautious return to malls on the first day of phase II reopening

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Singaporeans made a cautious return to malls, restaurants, and salons as the city-state allowed resumption of non-essential businesses on Friday under phase II reopening of its circuit breaker imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Retail outlets across Singapore welcomed shoppers and food and beverage outlets resumed dine-in services with patrons allowed to eat in groups of up to five people.

Shops predominantly selling beverages, including bubble tea outlets, were also back in business.

However, there was not much rush of people as the shoppers made a cautious return to the shops, the Channel News Asia reported.

Playgrounds and beaches also reopened, while libraries, museums, barbecue pits and camping sites will remain closed at the start of Phase II and progressively open later.

Singapore’s circuit breaker — a period with enhanced safe distancing measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 — formally ended on June 1 and the country is gradually restarting its economy in three phases over the next several months.

Under Phase I of reopening, businesses that operate in settings with lower transmission risks were allowed to resume with safe distancing guidelines.

On Monday, the Government announced that it had assessed the COVID-19 situation and found that community infection rates had remained stable despite more people returning to the workplace during Phase I.

It said that with the incidence of cases in foreign worker dormitories falling and no new large clusters emerging, Singapore was ready to enter Phase II of the post-circuit breaker plan from Friday.

Singapore on Friday reported 142 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 41,615.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that 141 news cases are work permit holders from dormitories and there was one case in the community – a prison inmate on a social visit pass who arrived in Singapore before the implementation of border measures.

“He had been segregated from the general inmate population since his admission to Changi Prison Complex on Jun 6, and was tested positive for COVID-19,” it added.

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