SINGAPORE – Boba joy for bubble tea lovers will have to wait as bubble tea shops will not be allowed to resume business when selected circuit breaker measures are eased on 12 May.
In a virtual media conference on Saturday (2 May), the coronavirus multi-ministry taskforce announced that certain circuit breaker measures will be eased, including for some F&B (food and beverage) stores to restart operations.
When circuit breaker measures were first tightened on 21 April, long queues formed at bubble tea shops islandwide as customers rushed to get their fix of the popular beverage before the shops had to cease operations at 11.59pm that day.
In a statement issued after the taskforce announcement, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) clarified that standalone stores, excluding those in hawker centres, food courts and coffeeshops, predominantly selling beverages must remain closed during the ongoing circuit period. Examples of stores that predominantly sell beverages include those that offer bubble tea, fruit juice, smoothies, soya bean, coffee and tea, and alcoholic beverages including liquor, wine and beer.
The online sale of these products continue to be allowed, provided they are fulfilled from the licensed central kitchen of an F&B establishment.
F&B outlets, including food vending machines, in parks must remain closed. Hawker centres located in parks, however, are exempted.
F&B establishments that can resume operations on 12 May include those selling packaged and loose snacks including nuts, potato chips, popcorn, bak kwa and cheese. Dessert shops, such as those offering red or green bean soup, grass jelly, ice-cream, yoghurt, cakes, cupcakes, waffles, chocolate, cookies, sweet pastries and donuts can also resume operations.
All F&B establishments that are allowed to continue operations can only do so for takeaway and/or delivery during the circuit breaker period. Dining-in continues to be banned.
F&B establishments that are allowed to open are to implement contact tracing through the use of the SafeEntry app by 12 May. This is to facilitate the efficient collection of visitor information so that contact tracing can be done in a timely manner, ESG said.
ESG added that government agencies will be stepping up enforcement of these safe distancing measures. Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act passed in Parliament on 7 April, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Subsequent offences may face a fine of up to $20,000, imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.
Businesses that do not implement or comply with the government’s safe distancing advisories may also be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance.
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