Even though safe measure management measures (SMMs) will be eased with effect Mar 29, 2022, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the government is mindful not to stress our healthcare workers and system to breaking point.
“We must not place an impossible burden on the health care workers and endanger many Covid and non Covid patients who urgently need treatment,” he said during his address to the nation on Mar 24.
PM Lee added that crucially, our healthcare system remains resilient: “It was under considerable stress at the peak of the Omicron wave, but it held up. The load is still heavy, but the pressure is now easing.”
The key changes that will take effect from Mar 29 are:
- Group gatherings to increase from five to 10 people
- Mask-wearing outdoors will be optional but encouraged
- 75 per cent of employees can return to office
- Capacity limit for larger events will be increase to 75 per cent
- A simplified Vaccinated Travel Framework to make Singaporeans travel easier
PM Lee explained that the government considered many things such as the cost of stringent SMMs on businesses and the economy, impact on children, families seeking to bond before deciding to ease restrictions.
He also added that the Omicron wave has crested and the number of Covid-19 cases are expected to halve in about three weeks.
PM Lee also paid tribute to our healthcare workers for all the hard work and tremendous sacrifices that came at a heavy personal cost.
“Because of you, we have maintained some semblance of normalcy in the past two years,” he said, “Some countries have seen mass resignations of healthcare workers, but our healthcare team, doctors and nurses stayed at their posts and kept on performing their duties.So to our healthcare and frontline workers, from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I want to say thank you!”
Cover photo credit: Tan Tock Seng Hospital and PM Lee Facebook page