Long queues were spotted outside of bubble tea stores in Singapore yesterday, 21 April, after the government announced that stores that sell snacks and desserts will be closed beginning today, 22 April
In a statement last night, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced that "specialised stores and outlets that predominantly" sell drinks, such as bubble tea, fruit juice, and smoothies, will be closed until at least 4 May, reported TODAY Online.
The latest restriction comes as Singapore moves into its extended Circuit Breaker, a measure to curb COVID-19 that is similar to Malaysia's Movement Control Order (MCO).
All dessert and beverage stores are no longer allowed to operate after 11.59pm on Tuesday and the MTI said it may be extended until 1 June.
Following the sudden news, many Singaporeans flocked to bubble tea stores islandwide to get one last fix of the sugary drink
According to The Straits Times, long queues were spotted at a LiHo outlet at My Village in Serangoon Garden and a Gong Cha store in Toa Payoh.
Singaporeans were reportedly out until midnight just to drink bubble tea one last time before the stores close temporarily.
Photos of the phenomenon have gained international attention on social media
Photos showing Singaporeans lining up for bubble tea up until late at night were posted on Subtle Asian Traits, a Facebook group for Asian communities around the world.
"A few hours after news broke that bubble tea stores will be closed in Singapore," read the caption of the post with over 6,000 likes at the time of writing.
Thousands of netizens were amused by the sight in Singapore, with some commenting that they should stock up on bubble tea as well
One netizen tagged his friend on the post, to which the friend responded that they should empty their "fridge for this essential".
Another person said, "Devastating... If I hear that, I'm stocking up jars."
Many netizens wished that the same restriction will not be implemented in their countries as some said in jest that they would not be able to survive without boba.
Meanwhile, as Malaysians wait to hear if the MCO will be lifted, Dr Noor Hisham has warned that we need to practise the "new normal":
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