Since the start of Circuit Breaker (CB) on 7 April, we have been constantly told by the government on what we can’t do. And when you impose nation-wide rules that robbed people of their freedom, you are also inviting people to take a risk and test the rules. These risk-takers aren’t afraid of the consequences because they often think they can get away with it. But how far can they go? These past few weeks we’ve seen how people are getting ‘child-trained’ by the government through heavy fines. What will happen when post-circuit breaker kicks in?
But let’s not forget the main intention behind these rules and strict laws. They are not put in place to make us suffer but they are enforced to guide us to do the right thing so as to safeguard our lives as well as others. Everything is done for our own good and for the betterment of our society as a whole.
Thus, instead of telling us what we can’t do, tell us what we can do. Let’s be thankful that we aren’t in a situation of a full lockdown where we cannot even step out of our house. Let’s also be grateful that we get do this together to protect one another just by staying at home. Aren’t you glad that you are not asked to stay in a war zone or bomb shelter but home?
Things we can look forward Post-Circuit Breaker
After 57 Circuit Breaker days, what can you start doing safely while still protecting others as well as yourself?
1. You can visit your parents or grandparents’ home with another family member.
Remember, it’s just the two of you – not three and certainly not your whole family. Nothing beats meeting your loved ones in person and asking them how they are doing. For my Muslim friends, it is a good opportunity to do short Hari Raya visitings amid the situation.
2. You can drop off your children at your parents’ or grandparents’ home for childcare.
Schools may be reopen but some children (Primary 1 to 3) will only report back in school on 8 June. Thus, some parents might need childcare support. You will be glad to know that you can drop off your children at your parents’ or grandparents’ place but subjected to the same limit of 2 visitors per household.
3. You can exercise in your neighbourhood.
You can still plant your two feet on the earth and take a stroll in your neighbourhood or nearest park. Do you know that there are over 300 parks in Singapore? You can easily walk over to a park (unless you are staying in those ‘ulu’ or remote private estates).
4. You can go back to school but on a rotation basis for at least the next four weeks.
Children cannot be cooped up at home for long because they, too, need to move around, socialise and play with their friends. Although they might not be able to play with their friends like how they use to before CB, they can still meet their teachers and friends face-to-face, take part in classroom activities and take a break from staring at the computer all day long.
Primary 4,5 and 6 students will report back in school from June 2 onwards while Primary 1,2,3 students will report back in school from June 8 only. Since priority is given to graduating students, Primary 6 students will attend school on a weekly basis, as per normal. Preschools will gradually re-open by levels from June 2 onwards. Student care centres will also reopen starting on June 2.
Polytechnic students will still undergo home-based learning while ITE students will rotate weekly between online lessons and face-to-face lessons.
University students from SIT will resume with their online classes but report to school for their practical or lab sessions. The other universities are on their school vacation break now.
5. You can still work from home and save on transport and food costs.
I don’t know about you but I find flexibility in working from home. It is a blessing if your job allows you to work from home. Although your monthly electricity bills may have increased, you might be able to offset the increment with your savings on transport and food. The only challenge about working from home is staying productive.
After the CB measures have been lifted, companies are still encouraged to telecommute wherever possible. Depending on each company, some people might be reporting to work but at staggering hours or on a shift rotation basis.
However, some might not be able to report back to work at all since some businesses are still suspended. It all depends on whether the situation improves and if it does, we can look forward to phase 2 where more businesses will be open.
If you have lost your job or your livelihood is affected during this period, you can apply for financial support via these three schemes: Temporary Relief Fund, COVID-19 support grant and The Courage Fund. You can check out this website for more information.
6. You can have your wedding solemnised in person, with up to 10 people witnessing the ceremony.
Previously, you and your partner can only opt for virtual solemnisation during circuit breaker period. It is somewhat inconvenient especially if your HDB BTO is not ready yet. Thus, you have to conduct the solemnisation separately at your respective homes. That’s really sad because you can’t even be there to put the wedding ring on each others’ finger.
Come June 2, you will be able to conduct a proper solemnisation ceremony comprising of up to 10 people. That only means you can only invite 8 other people to witness the ceremony.
7. You can conduct wakes and funerals, with no more 10 persons at any one time.
10 seems to be the magic number for phase 1 of post-circuit breaker. Any essential gatherings at limit to 10 pax at any one time.
8. You can visit your barber or hair salon for hair treatments.
Hair salons have reopened since 12 May but now they are allowed to offer a full range of their hair services. That means you can visit the salon for hair colouring and other hair treatments.
9. You can get a flu jab or visit your TCM for acupuncture sessions.
Healthcare services such as specialist outpatient services and preventive health services will resume from June 2. You may also visit your TCM doctor for acupuncture.
10. You can start renovation works at your new home.
You can continue with your house renovation works but you will need to get approval from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). Priority will be given to projects which has suspended halfway due to the circuit breaker measures.
Getting the most out of Post-circuit breaker Phase 1
Other than that, there are still 1,0001 things you can do post-circuit breaker. You can continue to stay connected with your friends or family through the video conferencing apps and continue to take the time to learn and do the things you love. Whether it is baking, trying out a new recipe or exercising to lose weight, you can take advantage of this situation and pursue your interests.
Remember, the rules may be there and our freedom is still limited but it is up to our creativity to find meaningful things to do in times of crisis or famine. I call that adaptability. How adaptable are you?
See you soon, Phase 2!
For more information on Post-circuit breaker (Phase 1) measures, you can visit gov.sg.