COVID: Up to 5 can dine in at restaurants from 10 Aug if all fully vaccinated

SINGAPORE — Groups of up to five persons will be allowed to dine-in at food and beverage (F&B) establishments such as restaurants from next Tuesday (10 August) if all the diners are fully vaccinated, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said on Friday.

Unvaccinated children aged 12 years and below may be included within the group of five persons if all the children are from the same household.

The updated safe management measures were announced by Wong, the co-chair of multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on COVID-19, at an MTF media conference.

F&B establishments may only resume dine-in services for fully vaccinated persons while other F&B establishments that are not able to do so may only operate take-away and delivery services.

Up to two persons – whether vaccinated and unvaccinated – can dine in at hawker centres and coffee shops as these are open-air and naturally ventilated spaces.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said, “Dining-in at F&B establishments remains a high-risk activity because many people will be unmasked and in close proximity with each other. At this stage of the transition, entertainment such as live performances, recorded music, and videos/TV screening will continue to be prohibited.”

Similarly, fully-vaccinated individuals may participate in groups of up to five persons in higher-risk activities where masks are removed such as personal care services, and indoor high-intensity mask-off sports.

The social gathering group size limit will be increased from two persons to five persons, and the cap of two distinct visitors per household per day will be raised to five distinct visitors per household per day. These measures will also take effect from 10 August.

Unvaccinated individuals should remain in groups of no more than two persons, to reduce the likelihood of transmission and severe infection, MOH said.

“We should also continue to limit our social circle to a small group of regular contacts and limit the number of social gatherings to no more than two a day."

Speaking at the conference, Health Minister and MTF co-chair Ong Ye Kung said, “Hence after this National Day long weekend, on 10 August 2021, we will enter a new phase, called the Preparatory Stage. This is when we will make important adjustments to healthcare protocols, rules on social activities and travel, to prepare ourselves for a transition to a COVID-19 resilient nation.

“By 19 August 2021, which is the original end date of the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), we will make a further adjustment if the pandemic situation remains stable.”

Ong said that the Preparatory Stage would last for about a month until early September. If the COVID-19 situation improves, Singapore can move to the next phase called Transition Stage A, he added.

Easing in other settings

The safe management measures will also be eased for other activities and settings.

For congregational and other worship services, cinemas, MICE, live performances, and spectator sport events, event sizes may increase to 500 attendees if all are fully vaccinated. Otherwise, only up to 50 attendees will be allowed without pre- event testing (PET).

Unmasking and singing or playing of wind instruments at live performances for vaccinated performers may resume, subject to updated safe management measures. The National Arts Council (NAC) will release further details on live performances while the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) will do so for worship services.

Marriage solemnisations in external venues – or not in a place of residence or in the Registry of Marriages/Registry of Muslim Marriages building – may take place with up to 500 persons, including the wedding couple but excluding solemnisers and vendors, if all are fully vaccinated.

Otherwise, only up to 50 attendees will be allowed without PET. Wedding receptions will be allowed with up to 250 attendees if all are fully vaccinated, and with groups of up to five attendees per table.

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