With the COVID-19 restrictions that were greatly relaxed on 26 April, it’s no secret that we no longer need to check in to any food and beverage (F&B) outlets when we dine out.
However, the vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) still apply to F&B outlets, including hawker centres and coffee shops. This means that those who are not fully vaccinated are still not allowed to dine out.
The other two settings in which VDS still apply are at nightlife establishments where dancing is conducted and events with more than 500 participants.
These three settings were singled out due to the higher chance of individuals spreading COVID-19 when engaged in activities in those locations.
And even though there are no more SafeEntry checks at the entrance of F&B establishments, spot checks have still been conducted at various outlets in order to ensure that patrons are abiding by the VDS.
Just yesterday (13 May) evening, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) announced that thus far, six individuals who are not fully vaccinated have been caught dining in at hawker centres.
“Six unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated persons were found dining at hawker centres while all individuals at the coffeeshops who were checked had valid vaccination certificates,” the MSE spokesperson added.
According to CNA, MSE also mentioned that each person will be fined $300.
Spot Checks at F&B Establishments
Back then when group sizes were still limited to ten people per group, F&B establishments were already allowed to entertain groups of five patrons or less without needing to conduct full VDS checks. The Ministry of Health (MOH) previously said that it was to reduce establishments’ operational burden.
However, MOH also noted that random spot checks would be carried out to make sure that only fully vaccinated people are dining in, and that diners should take the initiative to obey the rules.
MSE echoed similar sentiments, saying, “Personal and social responsibility by individuals in adhering to safe management measures is critical to living with COVID-19. The onus is on diners to ensure they are fully vaccinated.”
After the measures were further relaxed on 26 April, MSE brought up that the random spot checks at F&B establishments still continued up to 9 May in order to confirm the vaccination status of patrons.
The MSE spokesperson revealed that enforcement officers from the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) carried out over 20,000 “selective” spot checks during that period, which amounts to roughly 1,450 checks per day.
When asked by enforcement officers or safe distancing ambassadors to prove their vaccination statuses, patrons can open their TraceTogether mobile application and show them the “green tick” that appears for those who are fully vaccinated.
Alternatively, they can also scan their TT token, present their vaccination status through the HealthHub application or even show the relevant personnel their physical vaccination records.
Earlier this month on 9 May, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung also announced that members of the public should not uninstall their TraceTogether applications or throw their TraceTogether tokens away.
Even though the COVID-19 situation is not as severe now, the authorities will still re-implement VDS in the future if needed.
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