Coronavirus: Workers who prepare or sell food and drinks must wear masks or face penalties, says SFA

Operators who do not comply with the requirement can be fined up to $5,000, have their licences suspended or cancelled.
Operators who do not comply with the requirement can be fined up to $5,000, have their licences suspended or cancelled.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - All workers who are engaged in the sale and preparation of food and drinks will be required to wear masks or other forms of physical barriers from Monday (April 13), the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in a statement on Saturday.

Operators who do not comply with the requirement can be fined up to $5,000, have their licences suspended or cancelled, or both.

This now makes these safeguards mandatory, to ensure compliance with an advisory SFA issued on April 6, informing operators of food and beverage (F&B) establishments that food handlers and employees should wear a mask or face shield while they are working, such as when they are serving food, taking orders and accepting payment.

"This protects them against possible transmission from others and also prevents transmission to others should they be infected but asymptomatic," the agency said.

All personnel engaged in the sale and preparation of food and drinks at all SFA-licensed food establishments - including workers at hawker centre stalls, coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets and caterers - will have to wear masks or other forms of physical barriers such as face shields to safeguard public health and prevent food contamination.

This comes amid increased local cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and the possible presence of undetected cases in the community.

SFA on Saturday reminded food handlers that they must not handle food when they are unwell.

It also advised food establishments to continue following SFA and the National Environment Agency's sanitation and hygiene advisory, which has been issued to food establishments.

Members of the public can report non-compliant food handlers to SFA via its online feedback form