Cafes and shops reopened in Singapore on Friday because the city-state eased coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
More than two months after a partial lockdown was imposed, massage parlours and spas also resumed operations while beaches were not off limits and sports and other facilities opened again.
“I feel happy because I can begin … a couple of restrictions still apply but I’m happy, I feel safe,” Mostafa Jamshidian, a computing researcher, told AFP as he walked through the central downtown .
Angelica Stasevich said she was “very happy”.
“Today it’s like i would like to sing, i would like to bop , i would like to steer ,” the 21-year-old said.
Social gatherings of up to 5 are allowed under the relaxed rules, but people must wear face masks and stay one metre (3.3 feet) apart.
Authorities are gradually easing restrictions imposed in early April that shuttered schools and non-essential businesses, as a test-and-trace effort stabilised infection rates.
The city-state’s 5.7 million residents had been told to remain home unless that they had good reason to travel out.
Singapore has the second-highest number of confirmed infections in Southeast Asia with quite 41,000 cases, mostly among foreign workers living in crowded dormitories. The price stands at 26.
In a Facebook post marking the reopening of most businesses, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: “I am sure all folks are eagerly looking forward to the present day for an extended time! But please don´t go overboard celebrating.”
Potential super-spreader venues like cinemas, bars and nightclubs remain closed.
And live music and television shows aren’t allowed at reopened businesses because the noise could cause customers to talk more loudly, spreading droplets which could contain the virus.