Safe distancing on public transport 'will not be possible' at times after circuit breaker ends: Khaw

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan removing a safe distancing sticker from the seat of an MRT train. (PHOTO: Facebook / Khaw Boon Wan)

SINGAPORE — With commuter numbers expected to rise when Singapore’s circuit breaker period ends on Monday (1 June), there “will be times when safe distancing will not be possible” on public transport, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

“We have been able to ensure safe distancing so far because commuter numbers have plunged. From tomorrow onwards, it will be more challenging,” he said in a Facebook post on Monday.

In the post, Khaw shared pictures of himself and a public transport worker removing safe distancing notices from seats on an MRT train and a bus, respectively. “From today onwards, the green and orange stickers will be removed as physical distancing will be difficult once the crowds return,” he said in the picture’s caption.

In another image, Khaw seen next to a poster at an MRT station for the SafeEntry app, with the minister describing its use as part of “the new normal”.

“We still urge Singaporeans to work from home and for those who need to leave home, to stagger their time and avoid traditional peak hours,” said Khaw, who stressed the importance of commuters wearing masks “all the time”.

Khaw also advised commuters to refrain from conversations and observe personal hygiene.

(Left) A safe-distancing notice being removed from a public bus seat and (right) workers cleaning an MRT train. (PHOTOS: Facebook / Khaw Boon Wan)

Noting that many are looking forward to the end of the circuit breaker, which began on 7 April, he added that the easing of measures needed to be done “gradually and carefully”.

“Unnecessary haste may lead to an uncontrollable spike and cluster. We do not want to have to hit the circuit breaker again,” said Khaw.

From Tuesday, Phase 1 of Singapore’s re-opening will see businesses in sectors deemed at low risk of COVID-19 transmission being allowed to resume operations. Households will also be allowed to receive two visitors per day, while places of worship will be re-opened for private worship sessions. Primary and secondary school students who are in graduating cohorts will also be returning to school.

For the full list of activities that will resume from 2 June, click here.

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