In our latest fight against the Coronavirus, Singapore has imposed stricter measures to ensure that most of our workforce stay at home and limit their physical interaction to as few people as possible. This circuit breaker exercise will apply for one month, beginning Tuesday 7 April to 4 May.
During this period, students will stay home for home-based learning (HBL) and all non-essential businesses will be closed. However, essential businesses will remain open. In preparation for the lock-down, many rushed out to stock up on supplies. Long queues were seen at supermarkets, IKEA and Popular bookstores. However, our Singapore government has been quick to assure us there is plenty in stock and there is no need to panic.
If you need to prepare yourself and your family for the lock-down, here are some tips and ideas to zip in and out of supermarkets quickly.
1. Limit Your Time in the Store
Prepare your grocery list ahead of time so you know what to buy and where to get it from (if you are familiar with the supermarket layout). When queuing to pay, practice social distancing (stand 1m from the person in front of you) and limit contact with others. If you are sending your helper to the supermarket, do brief her of these rules to avoid any tense encounters at the supermarket. Alternatively, pay at the self-help kiosks and leave the supermarket quickly.
2. Touch As Little As Possible
During your shopping, do your best to limit contact with store shelves, food boxes, and shopping cart handles. It also doesn’t hurt to use sanitizing wipes to clean the handles of the trolleys before you handle them. Avoid cash exchange. When paying, opt to pay electronically with apps on your phone if possible, and if not, use credit over cash. Finally, use hand sanitizer to clean your hands after you leave the supermarket and wash your hands immediately when you get home and again after you have put the groceries away.
3. Go Grocery Shopping Without Your Kids
Young children may get distracted and touch contaminated surfaces unknowingly or not be mindful of social distancing. Leave your young children at home if you have someone (eg. your helper, your spouse or grandparents) to mind them.
4. Order Groceries Online.
Shop for groceries online if you can book a delivery slot and don’t mind a longer wait for the delivery.
5. Practice Common Sense
After you have loaded your groceries to your car, remember to wash or sanitize your hands. Wear a mask when you go out, and avoid touching your face. If you are not feeling well, send your spouse to do the supermarketing, or get the help of friends, family or neighbors to buy the essential groceries for you and leave them outside your door. You can pay them electronically (via PayLah or PayNow).
There is no need to panic as the essential services will remain open during the month-long circuit breaker period. Use this time to enjoy being at home in the company of your loved ones.
List of essential services that will remain OPEN Apr 7 to May 4:
- Supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery retailers, wholesale markets, wet markets
- F&B outlets (including hawker centres, coffee-shops, food courts, restaurants, fast food, and others) but for takeaway and delivery orders only
- Food caterers, food delivery services
- Hospitals, primary care services (i.e. polyclinics and private clinics), dental services, renal dialysis centres and community care services, TCM (adjuvant therapy for cancer and chronic conditions)
- Public transport, private buses
- Provision of point-to-point transport services (including Taxis, Private Hire Cars), and key supporting services and suppliers
- Petrol kiosks
- Vehicle recovery and repair services – but only for emergency vehicle services, no vehicle grooming
- Salons and barbers, but only for haircuts
- Optician services and sale of optical products
- Laundry services
- Plumbers, electricians, & locksmiths for emergency household services only
- Retail and repair of consumer electronics, IT peripherals, and household appliances
- Vet clinics
- Pet supplies stores for provision of animal care, feed and supplies only, no cosmetic/ grooming or leisure activities allowed
- Hardware stores
- Selected hotels, serviced apartments, dormitories and hostels, including establishments supporting Stay-Home-Notices and government quarantine facilities. However, all on-site recreational facilities in hotels have to be closed, while their F&B facilities may be open only for takeaway and delivery.
- Funeral-related services
Non-essential Businesses that are CLOSED.
- Attractions, theme parks, museums, casinos
- Singapore Pools outlets
- Sports facilities: Public swimming pools, country clubs, gyms, fitness studios, and recreational facilities in hotels
- Places of worship
- Public libraries
- The suspension of organised sporting programmes and religious services introduced earlier will continue.
Click on this link for the full list of essential services.