4 Highlights of PM Lee Hsien Loong’s COVID-19 Address

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong laid out Singapore’s plan to tackle COVID-19 in a live broadcast last May 31. Here is everything you need to know about Monday’s national address.


If the current situation continues to improve and the number of community cases drops further, restrictions will be relaxed. PM Lee noted that the number of daily cases decreased due to the support of the Singaporeans. He said that Singapore is on track to bring the current outbreak under control and is on its way to ease the restrictions after June 13.

The authorities will be certain about all these in the next week or so. In the meantime, he encouraged everyone to remain vigilant and to go out only if necessary.


In line with Singapore’s strategy to increase the rate of testing and to quickly detect COVID-19 cases, self-administered test kits will soon be sold. These kits will be helpful for front-liners who want to test themselves frequently or for individuals who are concerned about being infected.

PM Lee said that these DIY test kits for coronavirus will be less uncomfortable and less complicated than the regular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests. It will soon be available for purchase over the counter at pharmacies nationwide.


To efficiently control the number of cases in the country, wider testing will be done on a routinely basis. This action is in response to the mutation of the virus (i.e., as it became more transmissible). The authorities will regularly and routinely test people in work, social, community, and other normal settings.

PM Lee highlighted that extensive testing would strengthen the safety measures and give Singapore the confidence to resume larger-scale gatherings. He added that routine, large-scale, simple, and fast testing is expected to be part of the new normal.

The rostered routine testing (RRT) is currently being carried out in several higher-risk settings such as hospitals, migrant worker dormitories, construction worksites, seaports, and nursing homes. Frequent testing can be done in more places such as restaurants, offices, and shopping malls with faster and cheaper tests made available.


Singapore has received further confirmation of quicker vaccine deliveries over the next two months. The latest supply schedule will allow Singapore to further boost its vaccination program.

It is important to know that people aged 60 and above can now walk into any vaccination center to get vaccinated, even without an appointment. The next group to be vaccinated will be students, according to PM Lee. This is due to the growing numbers of children getting infected in schools and tuition centers during the latest outbreak. Vaccination bookings for students opened last June 1, with priority given to the graduating cohorts for O, N, and A levels as well as students with special needs. Students aged 12 and above will be next in line.

Image Credits: pixabay.com

Lastly, adults aged 39 and younger will be vaccinated around mid-June. PM Lee reminded everyone that…

“This group is quite large. Therefore, we will give the Singaporeans among them a two-week priority window to book your appointments first before we open up generally to the rest who want to be vaccinated.”

Sources: 1 & 2


People Are Raving Over Apple Singapore’s Floating Store

During Apple CEO Tim Cook’s last visit in December, he said that Singapore could use a third store as the Orchard branch was “pretty full”. Opening a new store may seem impossible given the global restrictions of the pandemic. Not to mention, Apple’s brick-and-mortar operations continue to grapple as the pandemic unfolds. In particular, the company has closed some of its stores due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in American states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, and Florida.

Many retailers, like Apple, have closed its physical stores due to the current situation. Thus, it was surprising to see Apple’s third store in Singapore. In case you’ve missed, the spherical structure floating on Marina Bay Sands is Apple’s newest store in the country. The upcoming opening of this store is groundbreaking for Apple as it is its first store to sit on water. According to the company, Apple Marina Bay Sands aims to bring its renowned products at an iconic location. Its other stores are located on Orchard Road and at the Singapore Changi Airport.

Apple writes this on its website:

“We will soon open the doors to our new store by the Bay. Apple Marina Bay Sands will be at the heart of creativity, a place we’ve made for you to capture your ideas and passions. It will be a space for you to explore, connect and create something new. We can’t wait to see where your imagination takes you.”

Picture a giant futuristic orb that lights up at night and is situated on the country’s waterfront. This was designed by London-based Foster + Partners architecture studio. Although this was the first floating store for Apple, this was not the first time that a slot of water was occupied by a commercial establishment. Avalon, a large nightclub, previously occupied the space from 2011 to 2016.

Many Instagram and Twitter users have shared images of this eye-catching flagship. If you are in the area, there are two ways to access the store. You may visit it via a footbridge or an underwater passage connecting to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Can you imagine the picturesque scenery it can create at night?

The company did not provide any other information as to how big the building was or when it will officially open.

Here’s the main entrance from The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands:

Let us just wait and see!

Sources: 1 & 2