Singapore dining restrictions will start to ease from June 21. According to a report by CNA, dining in at F&B outlets will start in groups of up to two people instead of five as previously planned.
This announced was made on Friday (June 18) as the island city calibrated its COVID-19 reopening plans amid a persistent number of unlinked cases.
Here are the other major announcements that made by Lawrence Wong, Minister for Finance and also the co-chair of the multi-ministry task force.
Singapore Dining Restrictions To Ease From June 21
Image courtesy: Lawrence Wong/ Facebook (screengrab)
The Health Ministry announced a two-step plan to move back to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), on June 10. This was done following a drop in COVID-19 cases earlier this month.
Restrictions in dining-in were part of the measures that were to come into effect from June 21.
However, Lawerence Wong at a press conference on Friday said, “Regrettably, we are unable to proceed with our second stage of reopening in light of the latest outbreaks and big cluster that we have discovered in Bukit Merah, and now we have to adjust our plans.”
So here are the new changes that he shared.
Groups of more than two people from different households will not be allowed to dine in together at F&B outlets. “This is applicable even if they are split across multiple tables,” according to MOH.
Members of the same household can eat out together in groups larger than two people, but they have to make it very clear that they are from the same household. Mr Wong added, “If you are not from the same household, then you cannot go and do multiple bookings or have multiple tables, so the same rules that previously applied will continue to apply.”
Recorded music will not be allowed at F&B establishments. This is being done to prevent the risk of transmission from customers talking loudly.
There should also be safe distancing of at least 1m between groups of diners.
Customers must keep their masks on at all times except when eating or drinking.
In addition to the above mentioned, two more updates were shared.
Wedding receptions not allowed until mid-July
Wedding receptions will also not be allowed until mid-July, said MOH. This is because they are higher-risk activities where guests tend to socialise more and over a longer period of time.
Gym and Fitness studios
Gyms and fitness studios can resume indoor activities without masks from June 21.
They should be in group sizes of up to two people and in classes of up to 30 people including the instructor.
There should be safe distancing of at least 2m between individuals and 3m between groups.
“Mask-on activities and outdoor mask-off sports or exercise activities can continue in groups of no more than five people and in classes of up to 30 people including the instructor,” says the minister.
The ministry shared that more caution is being exercised to avoid any infections that may have the potential to spark larger COVID-19 clusters such as the one around 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre.
As of Thursday, a total of 56 cases have been linked to the Bukit Merah View cluster since it was first identified on June 13. This is why rapid testing numbers will see a spike, going forward.
Rapid Testing To Go Up In Singapore
Speaking at a press conference, Mr Gan Kim Yong, the Minister for Trade and Industry, assured citizens that coronavirus rapid testing for employees in higher-risk settings such as F&B outlets will be ramped up soon.
“Authorities expect a regular rapid testing regime to be in place by around mid-July. That is when group sizes for higher-risk activities may be allowed to go up to five people,” said Mr Gan said.
He further added that this is a more cautious approach to minimise the risk of spikes in cases and the formation of large clusters. Mr Gan further spoke about providing test kits at a subsidised or lower price.
We will make these test kits available for free to the establishments over the next three months. We want to get the processes started, and that’s why… all the agencies will be reaching out to the different establishments in these higher-risk settings … to get them started on this model of an employer-supervised self-swab system,” he added.
As authorities are reiterating time and again, extreme caution needs to be exercised right now. You may have noticed that since the first step of the reopening, Singapore has seen a rise in infections. So, don’t let your guard down. Mask up and follow all the other COVID safety guidelines!
News source: CNA