Singapore has begun allowing activities that "do not pose high risk of transmission" to resume after two months of lockdown, despite reporting the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in East Asia.
Some offices and factories resumed operations on Tuesday, children went back to school, and places of worship opened their doors. But restaurants cannot yet cater to dine-in customers and recreation facilities such as gyms and cinemas remain closed for now.
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday that the relaxation will likely prove "a big relief to all" but one that is "certainly not without its risks".
The tiny but wealthy city-state, an investment and trade hub whose seaport and airport rank among the world's busiest, has diagnosed 35,292 cases of the new coronavirus, more than any country in East or Southeast Asia except for China.
Most of the cases are among foreign migrants confined to dormitories, though the related death toll, at 24, is one of the world's lowest.
Pledging that the government would build new residences to house up to 100,000 of the roughly 320,000 migrants who sleep sometimes 10-20 to a room, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong described the situation at the dormitories as "under control" on Monday.
With new daily cases of the virus among Singaporeans down to single figures most days over the past week, the government opted to stick to the scheduled phased winding down of restrictions from June 1.
"More patients have now recovered and been discharged, than are still receiving care," Lee said.
Australian Associated Press