Cap of 5 people for dine-in per table at F&B outlets, family visits during Phase 2 reopening: Lawrence Wong

Nicholas Yong
Assistant News Editor

SINGAPORE — Up to five people will be allowed for dining in per table at food and beverage outlets, social interactions or family visits during Phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening, said the co-chair of the multi-ministry COVID-19 taskforce Lawrence Wong on Thursday (28 May).

Speaking at a virtual media conference, Wong said Phase 2 could happen before the end of June if the COVID-19 infection rates over the first two weeks of June remain low and stable. 

Singapore is gearing up for the post-circuit breaker period and gradually reopening over three phases. During Phase 1, from 2 June onwards, the government expects 75 per cent of the economy to resume operations. 

“Phase 2 entails the resumption of a wider range of activities, and we expect almost the entire economy to reopen by the start of Phase 2, and the broad items that we are looking at for resumption of activities...will include, for example, retail shops and consumer services,” said Wong.

When asked at the conference on the reasons to set the cap at five people, Wong said, “There is really no magic number. You can set two, you can set five, you can set a 10. And you will look around the world, you will find different countries setting different numbers. We think that five is a reasonable balance, looking at the assessment of risk and...the situation that we are in today.”

Wong explained that in a group of five, if an infection were to happen, the cluster is limited to the group and any other close contacts. If the number is set at 10, the number of people in a cluster and the “multiples” will be larger.

The National Development Minister noted that there are activities in “higher risk settings” which typically draw large gatherings of people, or entail close contacts of people in enclosed spaces such as museums, cinemas, religious functions, bars and clubs. Based on the experience in Singapore and overseas, there have been cases of transmissions in such settings. 

The authorities will take a more cautious approach for activities in these areas and hold conversations with businesses and organisations about the safeguards required to be in place during reopening.

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