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Singapore expected to ease pandemic restrictions

Singapore is expected to announce some easing of pandemic restrictions on September 1.

Singaporeans are awaiting – anxiously, impatiently – for their government to announce Phase III.

The hope is for tomorrow: Tuesday 1 September 2020.

When it happens, Phase III should see an easing of some or many restrictions.

Singapore first went into lockdown on 7 April 2020.

The Prime Minister made a much anticipated announcement on television at 4 pm Friday 3 April 2020 to say the country was going into a “circuit breaker”.

As it was a term most people have never used in normal conversation – if ever – many were scratching their heads (except engineers and electricians).

I had to look up the dictionary. But still could not find the Cantonese term to explain to my mother.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announcing the lockdown in April

In announcing the lockdown of the country – the first of its kind in living memory – the Prime Minister chose to wear a red tie and a pink shirt, colours more associated with happy, celebratory occasions.

Phase II began on Friday 19 June 2020.

Much welcome, dining and team sports were reinstated but limited to a maximum of five whether on the dining table or court/field.

That Friday 9th June, restaurants were fully booked and repressed exercise fanatics and athletes took to rebooting their sore muscles and joints.

The original elation has since given way to rumblings of palpable grumble.

Why not one more from 5 to 6? (Eight is too much to hope for).

That would allow for three couples or medium-sized families or smaller ones with a helper or maid in toll.

As for team sports, 5 is even more dire.

Imagine playing 2 on 2 in basketball. (3 against 2 would be unfair unless one of the 2 is LeBron James).

Three on 3 – to make 6 – is so much more competitive and fun.

It may be that ministers who determine and decide on these restrictions were erring on the side of caution. Or that they do not play team sports.

My golf playing friends have no problem social distancing and restricting a game to just 5.

I don’t play golf.

The ball is too small.

My old eyes can’t locate it.

Wishing you A Good Weekend.

The article first appeared on Chngpohtiong.com.

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