askST: Are groups of more than 5 people allowed to sit across multiple tables at F&B outlets?

Authorities will continue to step up enforcement checks at F&B outlets.
Authorities will continue to step up enforcement checks at F&B outlets.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Q Are groups of more than five people allowed to split themselves across multiple tables at F&B outlets?

A No. Gatherings of more than five people are not allowed, even if they are split across multiple tables or in private dining rooms.

F&B operators are not allowed to accept such reservations.

Q Can households with more than five people living together book more than one table at F&B outlets?

A Yes, they can. In this case, the group will be seated at multiple tables, at least 1m apart, with no more than five people per table.

However, the Ministry of Health said they should limit interaction between tables.

F&B establishments can request to verify diners' claims that they are from the same household, and they can deny entry to diners at their discretion.

Q Will diners be penalised for flouting Covid-19 safe management measures?

A Yes. Customers would have committed an offence if they gathered in groups of more than five, mixed with people from other groups, failed to practise safe distancing or are not wearing masks.

First-time offenders will be fined $300, while a second offence will lead to a $1,000 fine or prosecution in court for more serious cases.

On Sept 9, 17 individuals were fined for breaching the five-person rule at various F&B outlets.

This came after the Ministry of Health's announcement on the same day that diners and F&B outlets breaching safe management measures, even for the first time, will be penalised without warning.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2020, with the headline 'Big groups not allowed to split across tables at F&B outlets'. Subscribe