Singaporeans can expect to move into phase three reopening in a calibrated and cautious manner, in the same way, restrictions are being eased in the different stages of the current phase two.
But they see the blurred boundaries between phase two and phase three as a good approach.
Associate Professor Josip Car, director of the Center for Population Health Sciences at Nanyang Technological University’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, said this lack of a clear-cut difference shows effective policymaking in action, as changes are more likely to be accepted when introduced incrementally and gradually, helping to ensure that the public understands the measures and remains calm.
“There is a lot of effort given to detail about the kind of measures put in place between the phases, but more importantly, it is also about the wider strategies to achieve the best outcomes.”
Phase two reopening of the Singapore economy came into force on June 19, which, among other things, allows most businesses and social activities to resume, with safeguards in place.
What to expect of phase three?
With further easing of restrictions in the past few weeks, such as doubling the number of people at weddings and the lifting of border restrictions to visitors from Australia – excluding Victoria state – and Vietnam, many have wondered if Singapore has unofficially entered phase three.
Professor Alex Cook, vice-dean of research at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, however, cautioned that it would be “silly” to give each of these incremental changes a name, asserting that Singaporeans cannot expect to be back to normal entirely until mass vaccination begins.
Tempering public expectations, Professor Teo Yik Ying, Dean of the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said that one should not anticipate a significant relaxing of measures in phase three, and expect the entire suite of activities that were previously barred to return. Rather, phase three is a state in which Singapore will remain with a certain degree of precautions to allow economic and social activities to carry on.
Source: The Star