Singapore set on reopening despite new Covid-19 travel curbs
“Our overall strategy has not changed,” Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Haslinda Amin. “We are committed to reopening our economy and our society progressively, but our aim has always been to do this without putting too much stress on our hospital system. We want to keep our health care system intact and under control, and we want to avoid unnecessary deaths.”
Wong, who’s also co-chair of the country’s virus task force, said reopening can proceed once the health care system is bolstered. He also said the city-state is in talks with other countries about expanding vaccinated travel lanes, possibly this year, as such easing happens.
Authorities announced tighter restrictions that kicked in Monday to help curb a surge in cases that have been hitting new highs. These measures include making work-from-home the default and cutting the number of people who can meet in restaurants and other social settings to two.
Despite the renewed curbs, the Straits Times Index rose as much as 1.5%, before easing to a gain of 1.3% as of 3:05 p.m. local time. Meanwhile the broader regional MSCI Asia Pacific Index was flat.