Beleaguered businesses rejoice as Singapore moves into phase two of reopening
A social sign of distance on the ground in IKEA Singapore's Tampines store before the blockade rules are relaxed on June 19, 2020.
Shops and restaurants in Singapore are preparing to welcome street customers again after the blockade rules have been relaxed as companies have been affected by restrictions for more than two months.
On Friday (June 19), the country will transition to the second phase of its reopening, where guests can eat in groups of up to five people at grocery stores, and reopen industries after being asked to close to the non-essentials were.
Numerous restaurants across the city, known as a food paradise, have closed due to poor business, and street vendors are struggling to survive.
50-year-old Lau Ahong, who sells noodles at a Hawker center in Yishun, said the business has halved since customers confined themselves to takeaways. She was very happy when the government announced that people could eat outdoors again. "I was preparing for customers to return tomorrow. I packed more chilli and cleaned the bowls and cutlery."
Not all restaurants will reopen on Friday, as some were surprised by the government's announcement this Monday. The Kilo restaurant group said, "As much as we appreciate the flood of reservation requests, we have to emphasize that we won't be opening our restaurants for dinner this weekend." Although the government has given the green light for our resumption, we want to take things easy for everyone's safety. "
Other industries, including retail, travel and transportation, were also hard hit by the pandemic.
Kidzania, a popular children's theme park on Sentosa Island that employed more than 100 people, announced on Wednesday that it will close after four years of operation.
Last month, the travel launch company Airbnb fired 38 employees in Singapore, which is part of a global downsizing of 1,900 employees.
Singapore-based Grab also announced Tuesday that 360 employees will be removed from its regional workforce to cut costs in the wake of the economic downturn. It was not specified how many of the layoffs came from Singapore.
The Japanese chain of Muji stores announced on Wednesday that it would close one of its 11 stores in the Marina Square mall.
Companies that have so far been able to withstand the downturn will rarely receive customers again.
Furniture retailer IKEA said its two stores would reopen on Friday with social distancing and mass control measures. The on-site restaurants would remain closed but would reopen within the next two weeks.
The electronics store Gain City said they installed whole-body sterilization systems at the entrance that disinfect customers and employees by spraying them with alkaline water. It also had UV strips installed on air conditioners to sterilize the air.
Shops selling bubble tea, a popular local drink, will reopen across the island on Friday to welcome thirsty customers. Bubble tea chain Gong Cha said on their Facebook page: "We can't wait to be back in our stores tomorrow and serve customers." Let's work together to achieve a safe transition in phase 2! "
Most companies will need to reopen when Phase 2 starts on Friday: Lawrence Wong
SINGAPORE - Apart from a "small" list of exceptions, most companies will reopen on Friday (June 19), National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said at a press conference on Monday. Read more here. Video courtesy of MediaCorp as host broadcaster
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