Singapore to go back to 2-person dine-in rule for 4 weeks from Monday

People dine in at a food court at Marina Bay Sands amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
People dine in at a food court at Marina Bay Sands amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO: LightRocket via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore will return to a two-person dining-in rule for a period of four weeks from next Monday (27 September), as it aims to slow down community COVID-19 transmission.

From Monday until 24 October, groups of up to two persons will be allowed to dine-in at regular food-and-beverages (F&B) establishments, if all the diners are fully vaccinated. This is a reduction from the current limit of five persons for dine-in.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced in a media release on Friday that unvaccinated individuals with a valid negative pre-event test (PET) result, recovered individuals, and children aged 12 years and below may also be included in such groups of two.

For hawker centres and coffee shops, the concession to dine-in at these premises will remain at up to two persons, regardless of vaccination status, as they offer essential food services to the community.

F&B establishments that are not able to ensure that all dine-in patrons meet the criteria for full vaccination may only operate take-away and delivery services. At this stage of the transition, entertainment such as live performances, recorded music, and videos/TV screening will continue to be prohibited.

Patrons to F&B establishments are also reminded to adhere to all safe management measures and keep their masks on at all times except when eating or drinking.

"We recognise that businesses will be impacted by these restrictions. They are not the same as the Heightened Alert restrictions because businesses can still open, but with the reduction of group sizes, there will be an impact on F&B, retail and other businesses that are dependent on footfall," said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong at Friday's virtual media conference by the multi-ministry COVID-19 taskforce.

Social gathering sizes also reduced from five to two

Permissible group sizes for social gatherings will also be reduced from a maximum of five persons to a maximum of two persons. Correspondingly, the maximum number of unique visitors per household will be reduced to two per day.

Individuals should continue to limit their overall number of social gatherings to not more than one per day, whether to another household, or meeting with friends and family members in a public place.

MOH said in its media release that it strongly encourages all individuals to reduce social activities and wear face masks.

"In particular, the elderly and persons with co-morbidities who are more vulnerable to severe illnesses, should stay home as much as possible, except for essential activities such as working, buying food and groceries, seeing the doctor, and exercising individually in uncrowded locations," it said.

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