Singapore loosens lockdown but expats are nervous

Published:  3 Jun at 6 PM
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Apprehension rules as Singapore begins its reopening strategy.

Singapore’s large expat community is veering between excitement and apprehension as businesses begin to open, schools welcome their pupils and public transport racks up its services. Expats and locals who’ve been working from home must continue doing so and places of entertainment such as bars and cinemas will remain closed until a later date.

The city state’s partial lockdown was finally relaxed yesterday, with around 75 per cent of the economy back in active mode. Even although schools are reopening, classes will be staggered between graduating pupils’ daily attendance and a weekly rotation schedule for other pupils mixing home-based learning with classroom attendance. Social distancing on trains and buses is no longer mandatory and trains are running on increased schedules.
Office workers are returning to the workplace, grabbing coffee on the run from local vendors.

The vast majority of expat and local workers are looking forward to a semblance of normality and the chance to enjoy human interaction with their colleagues. Banks, however, are putting off a return to the workplace until Singapore’s second recovery phase kicks in, and marriages, funerals and wakes can now be held as long as only ten people attend. The lockdown has taken its toll on the city state’s expat and local workers, but even the most stressed-out are apprehensive in case the loosening results in a second phase of infections.
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