Singapore’s economy is unlikely to pick up in a “very vibrant sort of way very soon” as key export markets in Europe and the US face renewed coronavirus outbreaks, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

While many sectors have shown improvement since lockdown measures were relaxed, some such as aviation, transport and tourism are likely to remain in “suspended animation” for some time because of second waves in other parts of the world, Lee said in a speech to members of his ruling party on Sunday. For Singapore, the government needs to balance an easing of restrictions as it runs the risk of cases shooting up again, he said.

“We can’t simply relax the current restrictions, and hope that Covid-19 cases will remain low,” Lee said. “The more we open up and resume normal activities, the more likely it is that we will have new cases, including from overseas, either from visitors or returning Singaporeans.”

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