COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore - statistics & facts
Singapore detected its first case of COVID-19 on 23rd January 2020, several weeks after the first cases in Hubei province, China, were confirmed. Now, almost three years into the pandemic, the city-state has eased almost all restrictions imposed during the height of the pandemic as the Omicron wave subsides and the number of daily COVID-19 cases decreases.
Impact of COVID-19 on Singapore’s economy and society
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the worst recession in Singapore’s history. Since then, however, its economy has rebounded, showing consistent growth in 2021 and 2021. The unemployment rate, which reached a ten-year-high in 2020, is also on the decline. However, the strict measures introduced during COVID-19 had led to a decrease in Singapore’s foreign workforce.While migrant workers were prevented from entering the country due to pandemic controls, many of Singapore’s skilled foreign labor left the country, either to return home to their families or to other places with a higher quality of life.
However, expats were not the only ones feeling the pandemic blues in Singapore. For many Singaporeans, two years of on-and-off-again lockdowns and constant worrying about their health and finances have worsened their overall wellbeing. Their worries were not unfounded – in 2020, the average monthly household income factored for inflation shrank by 2.4 percent. This translated to a marked decrease in consumer spending in Singapore in 2020. However, as the vaccination rates rose and the symptoms and health impact from the virus grew milder, the Singapore government started easing COVID-19 restrictions, leading to noticeable economic growth.
Living with COVID-19 – from pandemic to endemic
As of October 2022, Singapore has removed most of its COVID-19 restrictions. There are now no limits to group sizes for social gatherings and household visits, while mask-wearing is only mandatory in healthcare facilities and public transport. Unvaccinated travelers to Singapore are also no longer required to serve a mandatory quarantine period. This was a needed boost for the badly-hit tourism industry and led to an uptick in the number of international visitors flying into Singapore. As with most countries globally, Singapore has transitioned to treating COVID-19 as endemic, learning to live with the virus with as little disruption to day-to-day business as possible.
Singapore is currently one out of more than 200 countries and territories battling the novel coronavirus. For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.
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Research expert covering Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia