Has it worked anywhere else?

The term “circuit breaker” came to prominence in April to describe the steps taken by the Singaporean Government.

While the virus had been detected in the country in January, it took until spring for the state to implement a widespread lockdown measure, including restrictions on movement and gatherings, as well as the closure of schools and non-essential businesses.

The so-called circuit breaker was only supposed to last about a month, but ultimately it lasted for almost three.

Although the measures were in place for longer than anticipated, Singapore’s response is hailed worldwide as a successful model.

On October 13, the country registered four new cases, all of which were imported. The term circuit breaker has come to mean different things in different countries.

As with Singapore, many countries have introduced what was intended to be a short, sharp lockdown only to extend it.

Not all circuit breakers involve widespread lockdowns.

Who has gone for the circuit-break option in the UK?

A two-week “fire break” lockdown designed to contain the latest spike in coronavirus cases will be introduced across Wales from 6pm on Friday October 23, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed. 

After discussions with the Welsh cabinet Mr Drakeford said a “short, sharp, shock to turn back to clock, slow down the virus, and give us more time” was agreed.  

The break will include the half-term holiday and last until Monday November 9.

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