COVID: Dine-in at F&B places can resume at max 5 per group from 21 June

·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read

SINGAPORE — Dining in at food and beverage establishments can resume from 21 June, provided the COVID-19 situation remains under control in the coming weeks, the multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on the pandemic said on Thursday (10 June).

The measure was unveiled by the MTF at a virtual media conference as it announced that Singapore will gradually move back to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) in two steps, with one set of measures taking effect from 14 June and another from 21 June.

F&B establishments are reminded to strictly observe at least one metre safe distancing between groups of diners of no more than five persons per group so as to mitigate the risk of transmission between unmasked persons, the Ministry of Health said separately in a statement.

“We will be significantly stepping up enforcement and will take firmer enforcement action for any breaches. Patrons are reminded to keep their masks on at all times, except when eating or drinking,” MOH said.

MTF co-chair Lawrence Wong, who is also Finance Minister, acknowledged that F&B operators would be disappointed by the prospect of having to wait one more week before they can re-open. "I would ask all of them to make use of the one week to really go through their processes, their protocols, make sure that their restaurant layouts comply fully with the rules...because we know that these are high risk settings."

Singapore is currently in Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) reopening, which started on 16 May and will end on 13 June.

The MTF also announced the following measures taking effect from 21 June, on condition of the pandemic situation remaining under control:

Wedding receptions

Wedding receptions will be allowed to resume with up to 100 attendees including the wedding couple but excluding vendors, with pre-event testing (PET) required for all attendees. For wedding receptions up to 50 attendees, PET is required only for all members of the wedding party of up to 20 attendees including the wedding couple.

Live performances

The unmasking and singing/playing of wind instruments for live performances will be allowed, subject to relevant safe management measures, which will be released by the National Arts Council (NAC). Singing and playing of wind instruments may also resume for live performances at congregational and worship services.

Gyms, fitness studios, and mask-off sports activities

Gyms and fitness studios may resume indoor mask-off sports activities, with safe distancing of at least two metres between persons and at least three metres between groups of up to five persons. 

Sports classes – both indoors and outdoors – will be capped at 30 persons, including the instructor, with groups of no more than five persons each. Class participants may unmask if they are engaging in strenuous activities, although they are strongly encouraged to remain masked where possible to reduce the risk of transmission. SportSG will announce more details later.

In-person tuition and enrichment classes 

In-person tuition and enrichment classes for those aged 18 and below will be allowed to resume with enhanced safe management measures. The Ministry of Education will announce more details later.

Higher-risk arts and culture classes such as singing, and wind instruments will also be allowed to resume. The NAC will announce more details later.

Wong told reporters that, going forward, the government would take more "aggressive localised actions", such as snap lockdowns, in order to avoid having to impose general nationwide restrictions like another circuit breaker. "We think that's the way to live with the virus, while enabling most activities to resume." 

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