By now, we are almost too familiar with COVID-19 and the turn that it can bring to our lives. With the recent surge in cases, few would have been surprised by the recent announcement. From 27 Sep to 24 Oct, dine-in has been reduced from 5 to 2 pax and WFH arrangement will become the default. Even as we see the need to place certain restrictions to safeguard our elderly, we cannot deny that it causes an impact to Singaporeans and drivers who see their income impacted.
Drivers face real situations and pain during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has spanned 20 months thus far. There are many drivers who belong to the sandwiched generation, having to take care of both their elderly parents and children. When incomes are affected, it presents as a huge source of stress for everyone.
We looked through some FB comments sections to find the common problems faced by drivers:
- Not earning enough despite driving pretty far
- Far pick-ups, high cancellation rates which result in a loss of earnings and incentives for drivers
So don’t cancel on your drivers where possible, wait for them since they’re sometimes assigned further places!
- Having renewed their contract RIGHT before restrictions were announced
However, not all is lost, like one has shared above, it’s possible to still “rough it out with grabfood/grabexpress”.
Another driver even shared about how he found a used mask in the back of his car! Talk about gross!
Please have a heart and sense of personal hygiene, do not put our drivers’ health and other passengers’ health at risk during a pandemic!!!!
COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund payout for drivers
Naturally, many drivers will be seeking some help or relief during this period. There were threads specifically asking if there was still the Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) this time round.
The answer is yes!
Thankfully, the Government has extended the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) after September 2021. This is in acknowledgement that drivers will face challenges due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In her Facebook post, Labour MP Yeo Wan Ling said, “Under this extension, eligible drivers will receive CDRF payouts of $10 per vehicle per day for 31 days from October 2021 (i.e. $310 per vehicle), and $5 per vehicle per day for the next 30 days (i.e. $150 per vehicle).
These payouts will be automatic for those already receiving CDRF payouts – there is no need to apply. In addition to the Government’s assistance, taxi operators will also extend their rental waivers.”
We think the best part is the convenience of not having to apply for the scheme again. This assistance, amounting to another $23.5 million, is good news for all eligible drivers!
Stabilisation phase: Not to restrict but to help our healthcare workers
There have been mixed reactions amongst Singaporeans over the latest restrictions. Some are relieved that some measures have been imposed, while others are angry or disappointed that we have been unable to move into the endemic phase.
The current stabilisation phase is needed to give our healthcare workers a breather and to protect the vulnerable in our society. As much as we all hope for the endemic phase and for life to go on normally, we cannot deny that there are still groups of people who are at higher risks if they were to catch the disease.
Since most Singaporeans have been responsible in helping to improve the situation thus far, the next month will be an extension to further reinforce the efforts put in thus far. Even as the Government has focused on giving financial assistance to various Singaporeans and groups, let’s also strengthen the social aspect of our community. This can be done through our simple daily acts of kindness and having the “kampong spirit” to encourage our peers!