Home / News / World /  Singapore to lift Covid-19 restrictions even for non-vaccinated from next week

Even as the cases of Covid-19 infections are rising in Singapore, the country decided to lift Covid-19 restrictions for all residents of the country including the non-vaccinated. However, the health ministry also informed that the administration may step up the restrictions again to lower the infection rate and protect the unvaccinated.

The Health Minister of Singapore, Ong Ye Kung announced the lifting of vaccination-differentiated measures (VDS) which were aimed at protecting the unvaccinated in crowded areas and also pushing them to get vaccinated at the same time.

"Today VDS is very light and in restaurants is pretty much an honesty system with random sporadic enforcement," Ong said while talking to the media at a club event.

"It's not that VDS doesn't work. In its current form, which is light, I think it doesn't work as well. So, we might as well step it down with the understanding that we can step up to an appropriate level when we really need it," he added.

The order also means that even unvaccinated people will be able to move freely and the VDS restriction will no longer apply to events with more than 500 people or bars and restaurants.

Concerns were also raised regarding the move as it may lead to a drop in booster dose vaccinations for people aged above 50. The minister appealed to everyone in the age bracket to get vaccinated and also confessed that the current restrictions were not extensive.

"When you are fully vaccinated and up to date, your chances of being infected and leading to a very bad outcome is much lower, much lower. Do it to protect yourself and don't listen too much to the rumors circulating outside," Ong was quoted as saying by The Straits Times newspaper.

The minister claimed that Singapore is transparent about the adverse reactions due to the vaccination and its Health Science Authority publishes all reported adverse reactions every three months.

He also warned about the evolving nature of the Covid-19 virus which may turn up into any other variant and increase the level of threat.

"Come December, we don't know what kind of variant will come up or what kind of variant will arrive in Singapore. If it's something dangerous, we don't want to be caught off guard," the minister said.

"So now, while we have the time and the space, get ourselves properly vaccinated with the bivalent vaccines. It is the best protection for us for whatever may come in December," Ong said.

The minister also informed that the original Moderna/Spikevax vaccine will be replaced with the updated bivalent version from 17 October.

The cases are also expected to rise due to the return of the F1 Grand Prix race that attracted more than 300,000 people last Friday to Sunday. The last two editions of the race were canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Since the disease's outbreak in Singapore, there have been 936,270 cases of Covid-19 and 1,625 deaths.


With Inputs from PTI.

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