"It's been like this for so long. And it doesn't feel like anything's going to change here," said Sandler. "Life is very, very easy here. (But) is it worth it to live such a convenient life without being able to see family, friends, without being able to travel?"

Atar Sandler arrived in Singapore in 2019, seizing the opportunity to live in a buzzing global city that is also a convenient base to jet off to more exotic locales nearby, Reuters reports.

But after two years of mask-wearing, socializing in small groups and travel restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Israeli human resources professional packed her bags for New York with her husband and children this month.

“It’s been like this for so long. And it doesn’t feel like anything’s going to change here,” said Sandler. “Life is very, very easy here. (But) is it worth it to live such a convenient life without being able to see family, friends, without being able to travel?”

Risk-averse Singapore is trying to balance its approach to living with COVID – aiming to protect people in the densely populated island from the disease while reopening its economy and borders to maintain its reputation as a hub for capital and talent.

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