If you’re part of the population who still forgets to check out of places when you go out, or if you’re always complaining about how using the TraceTogether app has drained your phone battery to no end, this might be music to your ears.
Yes, you won’t have to do SafeEntry at specific areas soon.
According to the Ministry of Health, retail, lifestyle, and food and beverage (F&B) outlets located within shopping malls will not be required to carry out SafeEntry checks for their customers’ vaccination status before allowing them to enter the store.
This announcement comes just as PM Lee addressed the nation yesterday regarding the relaxed COVID-19 restrictions that will begin next Tuesday (29 March), which I assume everyone knows about because, well, it’s probably the closest we’ve gotten to normalcy in the past few years.
It was also mentioned that this new initiative will aim to help relieve the workload of these establishments as Singapore works towards coexisting with COVID-19.
Previously, some vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) were eased since COVID-19 safe management measures were streamlined earlier this month on 15 March.
Exceptions to the No-Need-For-SafeEntry Rule
Of course, as with every rule, there are a few catches to this one as well.
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Firstly, the customers will have to do SafeEntry at the entrance of the malls, which seems like a no-brainer thing, I guess.
Additionally, if they are open past the opening hours of the mall, or if customers enter via a direct entrance that does not let them pass by the entrance of the shopping mall, SafeEntry checks will still have to be conducted as well.
So if you’re heading to McDonald’s at 2am, don’t forget to check in ah.
Establishments will also have to conduct checks if events are being held within their premises, no matter how many people are attending the programme or if food is served.
This is unless they are situated in premises where SafeEntry checks are already conducted on people who enter the area.
However, here’s a piece of good news.
Unvaccinated children who are aged 12 and below will still be able to partake in these events, even if they are accompanied by adults who are not from the same household as them.
Music to every parent’s ears.
F&B Establishment: SafeEntry Checks Still Apply for Groups Above Five
Of course, you probably already know about the upcoming increase in the size of social gatherings from five to ten people, and this will apply to F&B establishments as well.
However, the stores will have to perform SafeEntry checks at their entrances in order to admit up to ten diners per group.
According to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) statement yesterday (24 March), they will only be allowed to take in up to five fully vaccinated diners per group if they choose not to conduct checks.
This will apply to hawker centres and coffee shops as well.
Although establishments have the choice of not conducting SafeEntry checks, those that choose to not conduct SafeEntry checks when diners enter the store will still be required to conduct random spot checks in order to identify diners who are not fully vaccinated.
However, MOH also highlighted that the responsibility still primarily falls on the shoulders of diners to maintain integrity when it comes to dining in and being vaccinated.
“This will make it easier for the F&B operators who face difficulties in cordoning off their venues and setting up discrete access control points, especially hawker centres and coffee shops,” the ministry explained.
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SafeEntry Still Most Effective in Checking Vaccination Status
During the press conference held by the multi-ministry task force COVID-19 yesterday (24 March), The Straits Times raised a question regarding whether or not the SafeEntry system, which is used across the entire island as of now, will still be used in the future.
To that, Health Minister Ong Ke Kung replied that the use of SafeEntry is still the most convenient way to verify an individual’s vaccination status and hence determine if they can be granted access to various locations or not.
He also emphasised, “We are evolving a different way of enforcement, such that for establishments that do not want to set up the entry control, they can step it down and based on random checks among the patrons, check that they are vaccinated.
“That…will help many establishments to step down and reduce the burden of enforcement and administration.”
To know more abut the changes that’ll take place from 29 March, watch this to the end:
- You Won’t Need to Do SafeEntry in Shops That Are Located Within Shopping Malls
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