Singapore Loosens Coronavirus Restrictions After Decline In New Cases

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Singapore Loosens Coronavirus Restrictions After Decline In New Cases
Retailers aren't optimistic the relaxation of restrictions will give businesses much relief.
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Singapore relaxed COVID-19 restrictions Friday following a significant decrease in new daily cases.

The loosened rules allow Singaporeans to go to stores, restaurants and gyms. They can also socialize with up to five people, but contact sports, religious events and entertainment venues are still banned.

The 279-square-mile city-state has seen around 42,000 cases. The mortality rate is low, with just one-tenth of a percent of patients — 26 people — dying from the virus. Many of the cases are among foreign workers in crowded living conditions, but the government says infections in the dormitories have declined.

Singapore's economy is expected to shrink by 4-7% this year due to coronavirus restrictions. Despite the reopening, the Singapore Retailers Association says it isn't optimistic that businesses will see much relief.

The executive director of the association told CNBC Friday that retailers expect a two-week surge in shopping, but then a drop-off after that due to the weak economy.