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Enhanced Safe Management Measures At Hawker Centres And Coffeeshops

09 Oct 2021

Dine-in at hawker centres and coffeeshops for vaccinated persons only from 13 October 2021

JOINT ADVISORY BETWEEN NEA AND SFA  

Singapore, 9 October 2021 – The Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced today that from Wednesday, 13 October 2021, only fully vaccinated persons are allowed to dine in groups of up to 2 persons at hawker centres and coffeeshops. Persons who are unvaccinated can buy food to take away from hawker centres and coffeeshops.

Vaccination-differentiated safe management measures at hawker centres and coffeeshops

2          As epidemiological investigations have identified food and beverage settings, such as hawker centres and coffeeshops, as locations frequently visited by a significant proportion of COVID-19 positive cases, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) will be expanding the safe management measures (SMMs) at hawker centres and coffeeshops to include vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) from 13 October 2021.

3          Dine-in at hawker centres and coffeeshops remains a higher-risk activity, given the constant flow of diners chatting and eating, with their masks off, in close proximity with one another. As the overall number of COVID-19 cases remains high, there is a need to protect unvaccinated individuals from infection. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated seniors are of particular concern, as they are at significantly greater risk of becoming severely ill and dying if infected with COVID-19.

4          From 13 October 2021, only fully vaccinated persons will be allowed to dine at hawker centres and coffeeshops. Children aged 12 years and below who are unvaccinated can continue to dine at these premises. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons can take away food from hawker centres and coffeeshops. Seniors are urged to continue to stay away from crowded places and take extra precautions and, where possible, ask household members to purchase takeaway food on their behalf.

Checks on diners at hawker centres and coffeeshops

5          Safe Distancing Enforcement Officers will conduct selective checks as part of their patrols to verify the vaccination status of diners at hawker centres and coffeeshops. We seek diners’ cooperation to show our enforcement officers the vaccination ‘green tick’ verification on the TraceTogether app, or to provide the TraceTogether token to be scanned for their vaccination status. Diners found to have breached the VDS will be warned and have their particulars recorded. Enforcement action will be taken against repeat offenders and those who refuse to cooperate.

6          Signages will be displayed at the entrances of hawker centres and coffeeshops to remind patrons. Regular reminders will also be made via the public announcement system where available. Safe Distancing Ambassadors and Enforcement Officers will take a pragmatic and selective approach to avoid inconveniencing the large majority of diners who are fully vaccinated and regularly patronise hawker centres for their meals. Our emphasis on selective checks also recognises that there are more than 100 hawker centres, each with varying layouts and multiple access points, and more than 1,000 coffeeshops, situated within publicly accessible areas such as HDB void decks. Agencies may focus their checks during peak hours and at hotspots that have larger congregations of unvaccinated seniors.

7          Mandatory checking of vaccination status at access points of these establishments will cause considerable inconvenience to the diners and those buying takeaways who are looking for a quick meal. Instead, NEA and SFA will work with Town Councils and coffeeshop operators respectively, to deploy personnel to verbally advise patrons on the VDS. NEA will also work with the Hawkers’ Associations for stallholders to advise regular patrons who are unvaccinated to get vaccinated, and to refrain from dining in. To ensure space and safe distancing between diners as well as stallholders, more seats and tables at particularly congested hawker centres will be cordoned off, if necessary.

8          SFA will work with coffeeshop operators to do their part to check their dine-in patrons’ vaccination status wherever possible, for instance at fixed points such as the drinks stall when patrons purchase drinks.

Practice of social responsibility key to slow down transmissions

9          We encourage all patrons, stallholders and workers who enter the hawker centres and coffeeshops to exercise social responsibility by observing the VDS, performing SafeEntry check-in and check-out, even if the access points of centres are not manned, wearing their masks covering the nose and mouth fully, and practising good personal hygiene. Agencies will continue to step up enforcement checks and take firm action as needed.

10          We seek everyone’s cooperation to observe all SMMs, so as to help Singapore transit towards a COVID-19 resilient nation.

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