(CNN) — As countries around the Asia-Pacific region tighten restrictions once again to curb potential breakouts of the Delta coronavirus variant, Singapore has laid out a new vision for life to return to normal.
The roadmap, proposed by three members of Singapore’s Covid-19 task force, would scrap lockdowns and mass contact tracing and allow for a return to quarantine-free travel and the resumption of large gatherings. It would even stop counting the daily Covid cases.
The proposal is a radical departure from the so-called “zero transmission” model adopted by several countries and territories — including rival Asian business hub Hong Kong — which have so far proved successful at avoiding large outbreaks.

But this “zero transmission” model, which requires stringent, often punishing quarantine measures, will be almost impossible to maintain as new variants spread, and long term is simply not sustainable, the task force members claim. Instead, they say living with Covid can be done.

“The bad news is that Covid-19 may never go away. The good news is that it is possible to live normally with it in our midst,” said Singapore’s Trade Minister Gan Kim Yong, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong and Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, in an op-ed in the Straits Times last week.

“We can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like influenza, hand, foot and mouth disease, or chickenpox, and get on with our lives.”

It’s a bold plan that could become a template for other countries looking to return to normal life and resume travel and tourism — and offer hope for frustrated residents eager to get their lives back on track after 18 months of pandemic restrictions.

How they’ll do it


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