Never thought we’d get to say this, but bye-bye Circuit Breaker (!!)
The official word is that we are exiting this 2-month long Circuit Breaker after June 1, 2020 – just a few more days, in fact, from this time of writing. But as Minister Lawrence Wong stated, it doesn’t mean we can go back to life before the coronavirus. So what does this mean? To help answer that, we have specially compiled frequently asked questions about Phase 1 of Post Circuit Breaker in Singapore.
1. Post Circuit Breaker – now what?
Our government has decided to ease out of lockdown with a three-phase approach:
Phase 1: Proceed gingerly with caution – workers required to use machinery or specialised terminals can return to work, certain healthcare services can resume. Those who can work from home should still continue working from home. Retail stays closed and dining-in remains disallowed, so our usual dapao practice goes on. Social gatherings are still prohibited, but you can now visit your parents or grandparents. More on this in the post circuit breaker FAQs below!
Phase 2: Safe Transition – More businesses open. Retail, gyms, fitness studios, tuition centres resume operations. We are finally allowed to meet our significant other and small groups of friends physically. We may also get to dine in at our favourite cafes or restaurants and shop at malls again! Students can go back to school and social gatherings may be allowed to resume, but in small groups.
Phase 3: Safe Nation aka “A new normal”. Events and gatherings may resume but in limited numbers, until a vaccine is found.
2. How come no more extensions for the Circuit Breaker?
The number of community cases have significantly decreased to single digits as of now. Kudos to all Singaporeans for that, for our collaborative effort to #StayHomeForSingapore 🙂
3. Must we still wear masks and practise social distancing?
That’s a resounding YES. Mask up when you leave home, as per what you’ve been doing or run the risk of getting fined!
4. How long is Phase 1 again?
The official word again is at least four weeks.
5. Do I go back to office to work?
The short answer is no. Government directives are: employees should continue working from home as much as possible. In other words, your employer has to demonstrate that it is necessary for you to travel to office – for example, to access specialised equipment or machinery that cannot be done from home, for legal matters, etc.
If you are a business or employer, check this list of permitted services able to resume from June 2. Random checks are conducted, and businesses found flouting these rules may be suspended or fined.
6. What should I do if my employer told me to return to work even though I have been working from home during the CB?
You can report these issues to MOM via the SnapSafe app.
7. What businesses will reopen?
Here is a list of businesses that can reopen in Phase 1 of Post Circuit Breaker:
- IT & logistics services
- Manufacturing, production facilities
- Motor vehicle servicing, air-conditioner servicing, hairdressing services
- School bookshops and retail shops selling school uniforms
- Communication services & print media companies
- Find the full list here.
8. Can students go back to school in Phase 1?
Preschool students will resume school as usual. School students from graduating cohorts – i.e. Primary 6, Secondary 4 and Secondary 5 – will also go back to attend school daily. Likewise, teachers can also go back to work.  They will receive face masks and shields to be worn at all times.
Other students that do not fall within the above two groups will alternate between school and home-based learning.
|Week 1 |
|Week 2 |
|Week 3: |
|Pre-School||All pre-school students will resume school daily.|
P1, P2, P3
P1, P2, P3
|Secondary School||Sec 4, Sec 5|
Sec 1, Sec 2
|Sec 4, Sec 5|
|Sec 4, Sec 5|
Sec 1, Sec 2
|Sec 4, Sec 5
|Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute||Alternate between school and home-based learning: half of the students will go to school at any one time.|
|CCA, enrichment activities etc||
Not allowed to resume for now.
Adapted from Gov.sg
9. I’m a tuition teacher. Can I go back to teaching?
Not for now. You will still need to stick with online/virtual lessons for Phase 1 till further notice from the government!
10. Can I finally visit my family, girl/boyfriends and friends now?
The short answer: family, yes; friends, no. So you can now visit your parents, your ahgong, ahma, your MILs, your FILs… you get the idea. One caveat: visitors must be from the same household. So if you are one of the many grandchildren your ahgong and ahma have been blessed with, you gotta wait for your turn. As for friends and girl/boyfriends, I’m afraid that’s not allowed in Phase 1! Visit at your own risk. To be safe, stick to Zoom video calls – you can do small, fun things like change your Zoom background to South Korea’s Namsan tower and make pretend you are starring in a Korean drama – because love in the time of coronavirus, am I right?
11. Very important question: is my bubble tea store going to open?
N O (cries). Sorry I am a huge bubble tea fan and an avid KOI supporter so this news devastated me.
12. Can we dine in and chill at our favourite cafes?
Also no, unfortunately. Dine in is still not allowed, so we’ll have to continue ordering our grub via delivery platforms or do takeaways. Check out our many resources for promo codes for your next food delivery at brands we’ve partnered up with: Cedele, Wafuken and YOLO and join the #savefnbsg movement to support other local F&Bs. We have a slew of partnerships (and promo codes) coming up, so remember to become an After Clinic Hours insider to be the first to know – don’t say bojio.
13. Can I go shopping at malls for some retail therapy?
Sorry but the answer is no again. I’m actually feeling kinda apologetic for saying no to you so many times although it makes no sense. But the good news is, online shopping is still very much alive!
So it’s going be another month at least before we can try on some clothes at our favourite local clothing store The Closet Lover or play with makeup at Sephora. But you can still get yourself some retail therapy via online shopping. Some eco-friendly athleisure from Outfyt, anyone?
14. What about healthcare services like dentists?
More healthcare services will be allowed to reopen, specifically for pain management, disease management and essential medical procedures – including dentists. Have a wisdom tooth or tooth decay problem that’s been plaguing you? You now can see a dentist to get it sorted.
TCMs will also reopen. Other healthcare services which will allowed to resume include:
- Allied health services
- Community-based services
- Chronic disease management
- Preventive health services (such as your flu jabs)
- Community-based centre services for persons with disabilities
Just be sure to book an appointment first beforehand as social distancing measures are still in place.
15. How about medical aesthetics procedures like LASIK?
No, you won’t be able to do your LASIK evaluation and surgery in Phase 1 due to the Ministry of Health’s tiered resumption of medical procedures. Aesthetic procedures are generally considered to be non-essential so it’s not yet given the green light for Phase 1. You also can’t go for your medifacials and anti-ageing treatments for the time being as these are also considered non-essential for Phase 1.
Also read: LASIK in Singapore: Ready to say goodbye to myopia for good?
16. Can I send my pet to see a vet or for grooming?
Send your beloved pets for basic pet grooming services, including cleansing for hygiene purpose (e.g. tooth brushing, emptying of anal glands), nail clipping, maintenance of skin and fur (e.g. anti-parasitic treatments), amongst other things.If the vet has advised you to send you pets for physiotherapy or rehab sessions, you can also do too. However, cosmetic grooming of furs is actually not allowed under Phase 1.
17. Can I go back to attend church or other places of worship?
In turbulent times like these, things can get difficult and some of us turn to religion to find inner peace. Thankfully, religious institutions can reopen for private worship during Phase 1. However, only a maximum of up to 5 members of the same household can pray together at any one time.
18. Can I go back to the gym or my yoga class?
Not yet! These will remain closed in Phase 1, and so will all yoga and fitness classes. Stick to at-home workouts or a jog in your neighbourhood park!
19. How about attending wakes and funerals?
For those families who has lost a loved one, they can attend funerals and gather for support. However, they will have to limit the number of people to no more than 10 people at the venue at any given time.
20. I am a bride-to-be! Can I hold my marriage solemnisation or wedding now?
Technically yes. You are now allowed to solemnise your wedding but with no more than 10 attendees! Same with a wedding as well. As long as you limit your guests to no more than 10 people, it’s all good to go.
If your idea of the perfect wedding is a massive banquet though, then I guess not. Given the current situation, a large-scale wedding seems impossible at least for this entire year (sorry brides!). Other alternatives is a virtual Zoom wedding like this one, for those who love challenging the norms! Think of it this way: Lots of money to be saved, guys.
21. I would kill for a good massage rn. When can I get that?
Spas are considered high-risk because of prolonged contact. So are cinemas, nightclubs, etc. So we’re most probably looking at Phase 3, sigh. It’s going to be a pretty long while before we can enjoy a good, Swedish massage or chomp down popcorn together at the cinema.
There you have it: 21 FAQs for the post circuit breaker! It will be a long-drawn war with the coronavirus – until we hit jackpot (a vaccine is found), social distancing, gathering limitations, checking of ICs for contact tracing at every mall entrance – will become part of our new norm. Experts have estimated this period of time to be another 12 to 18 months. 
Till then, let’s all practise good personal responsibility and hygiene because lives are at stake here – we cannot afford to have our Covid-19 cases shoot back up. Together, we can keep our home country and our families safe.
 Gov.sg (2020). Safe Re-opening: How Singapore will resume activities after the circuit breaker, from https://www.gov.sg/article/safe-re-opening-how-singapore-will-resume-activities-after-the-circuit-breaker
 Low Y. J. (2020). Covid-19: How S’pore will exit the circuit breaker in 3 phases after June 1, from = https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/covid-19-circuit-breaker-be-eased-after-june-1-three-phases-ending-new-normal
 Mak T., Ooi E. E., Lim J. C. W. (2020). Commentary: COVID-19 vaccine – why is it taking so long to develop one?, from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/covid-19-vaccine-coronavirus-why-taking-so-long-develop-stages-12643994
The ach editorial team is based in Singapore and we’re here to give you real tips and resources on how to lead a life that is #BusybutWell. Holistic well-being for the mind, body and spirit is the name of the game. Join our exclusive ach club for a dose of well-being straight to your inbox weekly.