askST: Can F&B outlets open in Phase 2? Are buffets allowed?

This is the first of an eight-part series brought to you by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Manpower Ministry and Enterprise Singapore. Learn the Dos and Don'ts of businesses resuming operations in Phase 2.

Covid-19, Phase 2, reopening safe management measures, F&B businesses
Accepting dine-ins? Mind the gap between customers and maintain expected hygiene standards as part of safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in F&B establishments.

Can my business resume operations in Phase 2?

The list of businesses that are allowed to operate from tomorrow (June 19) can be found on the Covid GoBusiness Portal.

Businesses in the list need not apply to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for exemption before resuming operations. However, they are required to submit information on the number of workers on-site using the Covid GoBusiness portal within two weeks of resuming on-site operations.

Employers can allow employees to go to the workplace if their job functions cannot be performed from home or where it is demonstrably necessary to do so — for instance, to cook or provide dine-in services at food and beverage (F&B) outlets — with strict safe management measures in place, such as wearing masks at all times.

All other employees who have been working from home must continue to do so and employers should continue to provide the facilities necessary for this arrangement. This will help reduce physical interactions in the workplace and minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Physical meetings should also be minimised, for example, by using teleconferencing facilities.

Which F&B outlets are allowed to resume operations in Phase 2?

All F&B establishments, including stand-alone F&B establishments mainly selling beverages, can operate when Phase 2 begins tomorrow. F&B establishments, except those with food shop licences from the Singapore Food Agency under the Pubs, Bars, Nightclubs and Discos categories, are allowed to provide dine-in services.

Live music, radio broadcasts, television/video screenings and other forms of public entertainment, such as dancing, darts or karaoke, are not allowed. Sales and consumption of alcohol in all F&B establishments are prohibited after 10.30pm daily.

I am an F&B business owner. What safety measures must I put in place?

All F&B outlets must put in place Safe Management Measures which can be found on the Covid GoBusiness portal under “Safe Management Requirements” and on Enterprise Singapore’s website.

Some key requirements include ensuring that all employees, customers, delivery personnel and other on-site personnel wear masks at all times, except when eating and drinking. F&B establishments must also ensure that common spaces and items, high-touch surfaces and interactive components, like iPads and smart kiosks, are frequently cleaned and disinfected.

F&B outlets must ensure that each table or group of diners is limited to five persons or fewer, with at least 1m spacing between tables or groups. They must clearly mark queue lines and ensure at least 1m spacing between customers in areas such as entrances and cashier counters.

They should also train and deploy service personnel to provide clear communication to customers on safe distancing measures.

Are restaurants allowed to have buffets?

No, self-service buffets and buffet line catering are not allowed and must be suspended.

I own an F&B establishment in a mall. Must I implement SafeEntry and conduct temperature checks if visitors are already required to do so when they enter the malls?

All F&B establishments with seated diners must implement SafeEntry to facilitate the efficient collection of customer information for contact tracing when needed. Those that only provide takeaway and/or delivery, where there is negligible or brief interaction with customers, are not required to do so.

All F&B establishments with seated diners must also conduct temperature checks and checks on visible symptoms for all customers, with the exception of those located in malls that are already doing so.