Forum: Lessons from UK's eating out scheme

Recently, the United Kingdom rolled out a scheme known as Eat Out To Help Out. The purpose was to give customers an incentive to eat in a restaurant by providing them with a discount which could then be claimed from the government by the establishment.

This idea was introduced to boost consumer spending in the struggling hospitality industry, which was heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

When the Eat Out To Help Out scheme was launched, 83,000 businesses signed up. This strategy was widely welcomed by the public which led to a surge in eating out. But, due to the crowds at restaurants, the number of Covid-19 cases increased.

As Singapore's food industry has also been affected by Covid-19, a similar scheme could be adopted here. More government incentives for food delivery could be given to help the industry recover yet prevent crowding at food outlets leading to a spread in infections.

Sara Shriram, 17,

Year 1 IB student

A new digital era in communication

It is easy to believe that the Covid-19 pandemic has produced only undesired effects. While the long-term effects of the pandemic are difficult to perceive, it has certainly reformed - in a beneficial manner - the structures of communication as a community.

Now, entire families and companies can have face-to-face meetings online, and webinars with thousands of people can be hosted.

What we define as "normal" communication has experienced a drastic shift. Such events have paved the way for emerging technology companies to inadvertently shift the trend of social interaction to a new digital era.

The rising popularity, and necessity, of digital communication demands that we think critically about the way we communicate, as well as address potential issues of security and concerns about privacy.

If anything, the pandemic has proven that now, more than ever, the way we communicate with one another is undergoing a technological revolution.

Christopher Yoonjae Lee, 16,

Junior high school student

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