The Singapore government announced yesterday (May 19) that it will be gradually lifting the circuit breaker in three phases.
As part of the measures to keep Singaporeans safe, commuters will have to wear masks and refrain from talking on the phone, or to one another when taking buses and trains.
The authorities reasoned that this measure is to avoid the spread of droplets in an enclosed space.
This is important as ridership on public transport will increase as restrictions are eased and with more people commuting to work and school, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
“We fully expect that it will be difficult to maintain physical distancing in public transport, trains or buses, during the peak periods,” said Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry Covid-19 task force.
“Maybe not for the entire route, but for certain journeys on certain bus routes or MRT routes, it will be difficult to maintain physical distancing so we will focus on other safe management measures for public transport.”
To minimise travel during peak periods, businesses will be required to stagger their working hours.
Public transport operators will “increase the capacity of trains and buses to the maximum” to meet the expected rise in demand, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a Facebook post.
To further reduce the risk, Mr Khaw said transport operators have stepped up their cleaning regime, and applied an anti-microbial chemical coating on frequently touched surfaces.
Similar coatings have already been applied on surfaces at Changi Airport and lift buttons at Housing Board blocks.
In his Facebook post, Mr Khaw also urged those who feel unwell to stay at home.
“Until there is a vaccine, and with so much still unknown about Covid-19, there is no foolproof way of avoiding infection. But we can minimise the risk to a manageable level,” he said.
Featured Image Credit: Edgar Su via Reuters