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SINGAPORE, Jan 27 — Even as Singaporeans look forward to the Chinese New Year festivities this year, they should exercise restraint to avoid the risk of having to go back into another circuit breaker, which could be needed if a few dozen clusters break out, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today.
For instance, individuals should refrain from making multiple visits in big groups, as doing so would increase the danger of super spreader events occuring, he said.
And while tossing yusheng, a traditional raw fish salad served at Chinese New Year meals, he said Singaporeans should use mobile applications with the pre-recorded auspicious sayings, instead of shouting them out themselves, which is typically the norm.
“I hope everybody will understand that this is not a normal Year of the Ox. We do have to take precautions, we have to restrain ourselves,” said Lee to reporters at the sidelines of a visit to Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic, which kicked off its vaccination exercise for seniors aged 70 and above today.
“Celebrate it in the right spirit, but keep ourselves safe so that perhaps a year from now, when the Year of the Tiger comes around, we will be roaring like a tiger.”
Lee’s remarks come after the multi-ministry task force that oversees Singapore’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic last Friday announced tighter safe management restrictions ahead of the festive season.
Among other things, a daily cap of eight visitors for each household was imposed from yesterday. Individuals are also encouraged to limit themselves to visiting only two other households a day.
Diners must wear a mask during the tossing of yeesang, also known as “lo hei”.
This should also be done without any verbalisation of the usual auspicious phrases.
The authorities will also step up enforcement checks at food and beverage establishments, malls and other crowded public spaces during this period. Strict enforcement actions will be taken against individuals and operators who do not comply with the safe management rules.
On his part, Lee said he will also celebrate the Lunar New Year with only eight guests at his home. He will also be visiting Changi Airport and one of the hospitals here to greet the frontline workers there on the first day of the celebrations. — TODAY