Education Minister Lawrence Wong announced yesterday (Nov 10) that “there may be a chance we can (enter Phase 3) before the end of the year.”
“If not, we will roll over to January or sometime early next year,” he added.
He stressed that we should “do it right” instead of rushing into Phase 3 and “end up with bad consequences down the road”.
This would only be possible if everyone do their part because with more events allowed to take place, the risk of an increase in COVID-19 cases is now higher.
“We have to be mentally prepared for that and be ready to ensure that even if the local cases in the community were to rise, they do not form large clusters that are out of control,” he said.
With that, he went on to lay down three key conditions that must be met before Singapore enters Phase 3 of reopening:
1. Higher Adoption Rate Of TraceTogether
According to Mr Wong, the TraceTogether programme plays a key role in contact tracing efforts and a high adoption rate of it is crucial for Singapore to reopen safely.
Currently, the participation rate of TraceTogether is at less than 50 per cent. This number is too low, and he said that it must have a take-up rate of about 70 per cent rate instead.
Although TraceTogether tokens are being distributed islandwide, it is not necessary for Singaporeans to collect a token.
An alternative is to simply download the TraceTogether app on your smartphone.
“The faster you download the app, the faster we get to a higher participation rate, the better the stars can be aligned. So consider downloading the app if you haven’t,” urged Mr Wong.
2. Compliance With Safe Management Measures
Mr Wong stressed that Singaporeans need to take safe management measures “seriously”.
“If people are not responsible enough to uphold (them), then going for further relaxation (of restrictions) is going to be very risky,” he pointed out.
He added that the authorities will assess this condition through safe distancing ambassadors, who will continue to observe the situation on the ground at places such as restaurants and parks.
3. Sufficient Testing Capabilities
Finally, Singapore’s testing capabilities must be sufficient — an area that Singapore is “proceeding well” in.
“We do have the testing capabilities in place, so we just need the contact tracing — TraceTogether — to be up,” he said.
“With all three indicators showing the green light, we would be in a position to enter Phase 3.”
Featured Image Credit: Lawrence Wong / Gov.sg