Circuit Breaker Measures : Are we in a Lockdown?




Are we in a lockdown



If you are one of the ones who comply with the advisories, you would probably be Staying At Home most of the time save for groceries and meals (if you are not preparing yourself). At the same time, you see photos popping up on social platforms where families are enjoying themselves out in the park.  The reality seems so much different from what you read. It feels like the nation is on a Lockdown base on news, but on the social platforms, it looks like Singapore is on a holiday.

Source: TODAY
So are we in a lockdown or not?

What is a Lockdown
The term lockdown sounds draconian. In fact, strictly speaking, a lockdown refers to a state of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure. While restricted access is implemented in Singapore context, Isolation is still a foreign word. Given the situation, we are probably in a 'soft 'lockdown', if there is such a word.

To be fair, Lockdown is a term that had been loosely used in the Coronovirus Pandemic with different countries setting varying standards and namely the operation differently.




What are Singapore measures?

March 23 : All short term visitors will no longer be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.
Limited entry for work pass holders and dependents

Source: ST
Unsplash- Victor He


March 24: Closure of all entertainment venues, gatherings outside of work and school limited to 10 people.


  1. All tuition and enrichment classes to be suspended
  2. Religious service to be suspended
  3. Malls, museums and restaurants must reduce crowd density
  4. Singapore residents from Britan and US to serve Stay Home Notice of 15 days


Failure to comply will lead to fine up to $10,000 or jail up to 6 months

Source: ST

March 27: Safe Distancing rules kick in
Failure to comply will lead to a fine up to $10,000 or jail up to 6 months

Source: ST

Apr 7: Circuit Breakers to be implemented from Apr 7 to May 4

Source: TWD

Apr 7: Closure of non-essential Workplace
Only selected essential services workplaces are allowed to operate. Everyone else to Work From Home.
Source: GOV.sg

Apr 7:  Schools to close, HBL implemented
All schools to close, Home Base Learning will replace teaching
Source: MOE

Apr7: No Dine-in, Only Takeaway allowed

precise Source: ST

Apr 7: Restrictions of Movement Law
Unsplash - Victor He

Restricting movements to only 12 conditions
  1. Work for or with an essential service provider, a specified school or an early childhood development centre
  2. Procure any goods or services from an essential service provider or a specified school
  3. To obtain medical treatment for suspected COVID-19 infection at the hospital, medical clinic or any other place designated as such or to obtain medical treatment that is of a pressing nature
  4. To engage in any recreational activity in an open-air stadium, public path or public park alone or with any other individual who lives with the firstmentioned individual
  5. where an individual work for or with an essential service provider, to bring the individual's child or children to a place where the child or children are to have cared for 
  6. To assist any individual who has a physical or mental disability, or is below 12 of age or above 60 years of age with his or her daily needs.
  7. To report for enlistment or service under the Enlistment Act ( Cap 93)
  8. To report to any law enforcement officer or to attend at any court in accordance with any warrant, summons, order made under any written law or order of a court.
  9. To be present at any place in accordance with a requirement under any written law
  10. To seek or render help in an emergency 
  11. To move to another place of accommodation
  12. To leave Singapore
Source: TWD

Apr 9: Stadiums to Close
All stadiums to close as there are still people flouting safe distancing measures by exercising in groups.

Source: Today

Apr 9:  Children no longer allowed to be dropped off daily at grandparents
Only exceptions are parents on the following conditions
- Both parents are essential service workers and unable to work from home
-One parent is a healthcare professional and is unable to work from home
-One parent is an essential service worker who is unable to work from home and has a child below age 3

Source: CNA

Apr 9 : Penalties to be imposed on circuit breakers
1st timer - Stern Warning
2nd timer- Fine $300
3rd timer - Charge in Court

Source: ST

Apr 11: Beaches to close


Due to the continue crowds at beaches, it will now be close. Parts of Parks and Nature Reserves are affected too.

Source: TWD

Apr 11 : Foreign Domestic Workers must stay home on rest days
Previously, it was just an advisory.

Source: ST

Apr 11: Stricter penalties - First-time offenders to be fined $300 instead of warning
Previous stern warning replaced with fine

Source: Today

Apr 12: Playfields under SLA to close
This would be the vast open spaces you see in some areas. Eg. Open space next to Pebble Bay

Source: ST


Are we in a lockdown?
Unsplash DJ

"We are all in the same boat, but we are not in the same storm"

At first glance, if you take the policies introduced to date as a whole, it would seem like we are in a lockdown. In reality, it is a calibrated move to restrict movement. As it is, people are still given the freedom to be out of the house for groceries or a walk in the park. However, if this is abuse and crowds are back in parks and malls, do not be surprise that tighter measures will be introduced to bring us to a scenario similar to other 'lockdown' situation in other countries.

Nonetheless, it is a stage that everyone will not embrace for valid reasons.


Treasure the freedom you have now. Do not circumvent the rules. Otherwise, it will be a fleeting memory when Full Lockdown occurs.

What happens next?

When the lockdown happens, the next stage to consider is what happens next.
Unless we have zero infection for 14 continuous days or vaccine is found and issued to everyone, we would have to forgo the notion of normalcy as we have known it.

As calibrated as Singapore version is being implemented, the same calculated measures would have to be made for unlocking the process. Given our past 'bad' behaviour, a full lift of the measures would probably lead to a hoard of crowds emerging from all corners of Singapore. We cannot afford that until we are 100% certain that the threat is over.

That day will come... it is just not on May 4.




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