As people got ready to hang their Singapore flags outside their walkways and gates a few weeks ago, many were probably taken by surprise by the sudden changes in Covid-19 measures from the Singapore government.
The country reverted to Phase 2 Heightened Alert (HA) from July 22nd to August 18th. The announcement came just half a month before Singapore’s National Day on August 9th. This was done to contain growing Covid-19 clusters linked to the Jurong Fishery Port.
This meant that heartland fireworks and Red Lions displays were cancelled for August 7th and 8th too.
Dining-in was banned, while social gathering groups were reduced from five to two persons. Even this year’s National Day Parade has been postponed to August 21st.
But that doesn’t mean that our lion’s roar will cease. Activities can still be done safely at home, and we can still support the country in more ways than one this long weekend.
Vulcan Post has curated a list of activities for you to do to celebrate the nation’s independence, while staying safe and minimising your exposure outside.
Singaporeans connect with food, and our families connect the best with food too.
Ask any local what their parents usually ask them when they meet and it will be: “Have you eaten?”, “Jiak Ba Buey?” or “Makan already?”: These are basically the same questions but in different languages due to our multi-cultural society.
This National Day, online stores are offering food deals as they anticipate people to gather with their household members for meals.
Food delivery app foodpanda is offering up to $40 off orders this National Day. This includes $12 off on restaurants with a minimum order of $20 by quoting “NDPFP12”.
There’s also $12 off its grocery spin off pandamart with a minimum order of $20 using “NDPMART12” and $4 off self pick-up services with a minimum order of $12 using “NDPPU4”. This will be ongoing until end-September.
What’s more Singaporean than eating durians? Not just the durian flesh, but you can get that flavourful bite wrapped in snowskin pastry and serve it chilled.
Four Seasons is offering 50 per cent off four pieces of durian mooncakes for its Mao Shan Wang at $69 (U.P. $138). Customers can purchase up to two boxes per voucher, to be presented upon payment. Its Sultan Durian mooncakes are also going for half price at $44 (U.P. $88).
The mooncakes are only redeemable at AMK Hub, NEX Serangoon and Four Seasons Restaurant at Jewel Changi Airport until September 19th. You can buy the vouchers first, and redeem them after Phase 2 HA is over.
Dunkin’ Donuts is also joining in the celebrations by offering 12 donuts for the price of 9, from now till November 20th. The deal is only valid at its Singapore outlets like AMK Hub and Waterway Point.
Celebrations often come with pizza and soft drinks for that casual dinner. Why not consider Pizza Hut’s Cheesy 7 Pizza. It’s providing 56 per cent off its Cheesy 7 Pizza if you purchase two of them.
The pizza is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the cheese blend includes cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, and more. The deal ends on August 15th. Apply “SGBDAY56” at check out.
If you would like a pizza that has a more local vibe, Mad for Garlic is giving a free choice of pizza with minimum purchase of $30 on ala carte menu items. The store sells 12-inch pizzas with flavours like pumpkin spicy cream, mad tomyum, and garlic sweet potato.
Shopping local online
Do your part for the country by supporting local brands through their e-commerce platforms and marketplaces.
E-marketplace Shopee is having a National Day Sale from August 1st to 10th. It is supporting over 100,000 local businesses Shopee and is releasing daily and group buy deals. Brands include IRVINS salted egg potato chips, Hito bicycles, and Prism TVs.
Meanwhile, local consumer electronics seller Challenger’s Hachi Tech is offering 10 per cent of selected accessories like Belkin, Elecom, and J5Create to join in the celebrations. Customers can use “NDP2021” at checkout.
This can also be a time to pamper yourself with some tonics while buying local products. Health and wellness store Brands is offering up to $45 off storewide. Special deals include 1-for-1 for its Essence of Chicken pills (60 tablets) which is at $29 (U.P. $58). The promo will be available until end-August.
For those who want to send parcels to loved ones, you can use Singpost’s SmartPac service which is offering up to 16 per cent off the postage-paid packaging. Users can use “NDPSMP16” upon checkout. There’s also 15 per cent off SingPost’s Speedpost standard services.
Get fit virtually
If you are feeling stressed out by the pandemic, you can join online exercise activities to destress this holidays.
Take part in this alignment and breathing therapy class under the People’s Association (PA). It will be held on August 8th, from 9.30am to 10.30am via online platform Zoom. PA members pay $2 while non-members pay $5.
The class will help to teach alignment correction as well as breath control, flexibility, and sustainability of body posture. Attendees will be guided on breathing and tips on how to integrate breath work into yoga poses.
Perhaps you might want to get fitter and train for a virtual race. National University of Singapore is having a virtual run challenge RUN BIG and is open for sign ups. Those that sign up can choose their preferred run route area in different parts of Singapore. The race will only take place in September, after Phase 2 HA.
The current race available is the 19.05 kilometres competitive race, and those who sign up get items like a finisher tee, a digital certificate, and a recyclable bag.
For couch potatoes, Singtel is offering three months of Lifestyle Plus for free on its streaming service Singtel CAST.
You can stay home and watch shows from popular international channels like AFN, Food Network, and HGTV. Singtel said that there’s no contract required and users can cancel anytime.
Singtel CAST Lifestyle Plus will only be chargeable from the fourth month onwards. The deal is valid till end-September and non-Singtel customers can sign up for a 30-day trial via their credit cards.
If you prefer to play games and watch programmes in high definition, telco M1 is offering three months free fibre broadband with a two-year new Keppel Electric plan or via recontract for a 24-month fibre plan. The deal is valid till the end of the year.
This long weekend may be the right opportunity to celebrate this with the special someone. Local jeweller Vella Diamonds is giving five per cent off all engagement rings and customers can also enjoy a free two-days one night stay at a 4-or-5 star hotel.
Staying home doesn’t mean staying home forever, so why not spend the time to plan ahead on what you want to do in the next few months when we adjust to “living with the pandemic”. This could be the time to plan for your next holiday. Traveloka is promoting up to 20 per cent off for its flight, hotel, or Xperience – activities and attractions service – bookings.
Customers can tap on their SingapoRediscovers Vouchers with a minimum transaction of $10. The deal is until the end of December. Deals include the SEA aquarium and farm tours.
Singapore pandemic resilience
About 3.2 million people in Singapore are fully vaccinated as of July 28th, and that makes up 57 per cent of the population.
By National Day, Singapore aims to fully vaccinate 67 per cent of its population. Singapore is currently on target to reach that as well as its September target of 80 per cent.
By September, Singapore would have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, and that puts the country in a “strong position to transit to a Covid-19 resilient society”.
This suggests a further opening up of the country and Singapore is likely to look forward to having more normal lives ahead. We are hoping maybe even the resumption of travel bubble talks with Taiwan and Hong Kong.
To achieve these dreams, we will have to work together and keep safe. Stay strong Singapore, and we will get through these tough times.
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Featured Image Credit: The Soothe, Singapore Global Network, Annabel Law, Nielsen, Grain, ParentEd