Well, in the 2021 COVID-19 reality, it seems like things can change in an instant. Just a moment ago, we were celebrating that dining-in is back at to 5 pax again. Given the rather unfortunate kerfuffle with the KTVs, it seems like MOH is being cautious and for a good reason too. Let’s not have another Circuit Breaker Part Deux.
There are a few new regulations for dining in, but let’s not throw in the towel yet. Some of these new measures are temporary, and before we know it, life will be back to normal.
Back to 2 pax dining in from 19 Jul till 8 Aug
Dining in will go back to the default of 2 pax for hawker centres, food courts, and coffee shops from 19 July till 8 Aug 2o21. The reason being that these venues are more difficult to keep track of the status of individuals and sometimes do no impose mandatory Safe Entry check-in.
5 pax dining in allowed for fully vaccinated individuals
Okay, so all hope is not lost; there’s still dining in for groups of five, provided that everyone is fully vaccinated. This is because fully-vaccinated individuals have good protection against infection and severe illness. They are also less likely to infect others as compared to unvaccinated individuals.
This is also contingent on food establishments being able to set up systems to verify that all individuals are fully vaccinated. Now, what does fully vaccinated mean? You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccine.
There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, of course. Unvaccinated individuals with a valid negative pre-event test (PET) result in the past 24 hours or for the duration of dining-in are allowed to dine in groups of five. Also, individuals who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 270 days are eligible to dine-in in groups of five.
Since children under the age of 12 cannot receive the Covid-19 vaccine, they are also eligible to dine in groups of five.
Nightlife establishments to be suspended
For nightlife establishments that have pivoted to F&B establishments, they will be suspended from now till 30 July 2021. So that means all the KTV lounges that serve food will be closed, and all staff will undergo the swab test.
Mask-off indoor activities capped at groups of 2
A slight setback for gyms and indoor sports activities; it seems like we might be working out in smaller groups for the time being. Indoor mask-off activities at gyms/fitness studios will be kept to groups of two instead of groups of five.
Again, there is that silver lining. If all the adults in the class are fully vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 or have a negative PET result covering the duration of the class, the class can be conducted in groups of five.
Class sizes are also reduced to 30 pax, including the instructor.
WFH to remain the default
For homebodies, work from home remains the default, with employees taking staggered work start times and flexible schedules.
Social gatherings in the workplace will not be allowed, so celebrate your co-worker’s birthday on Zoom if you must. If there has to be a workplace event, there will be no food allowed at these venues.
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