Dining and gathering group size raised to 5: What you need to know about Covid-19 rules from Nov 22

With Singapore's current situation stable and a fall in Covid-19 cases, some measures will be eased from Nov 22. PHOTOS: KUA CHEE SIONG, CHONG JUN LIANG, ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Vaccinated groups of up to five can dine at restaurants from Monday (Nov 22), without the need to be from the same household.

From Tuesday, this will also apply to hawker centres and coffee shops that are able to put in place the necessary checks.

These and other moves bring the stabilisation phase, which was extended to Sunday, to an end, and Singapore is moving back to the transition phase, said Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, at a virtual press conference held by the multi-ministry task force tackling the Covid-19 pandemic on Saturday.

With the current situation stable and the decrease in infections, some measures will be eased from Monday.

But work from home continues to remain the default, as Singapore has to open up in an incremental step-by-step approach and be cautious, said the task force.

Here are Saturday's key announcements:

1. Group sizes for dine in increased to five

Groups of up to five people, even if not from the same household, will be allowed to dine in at food and beverage establishments if all are vaccinated.

Unvaccinated children aged 12 and below - born in 2009 or after - may be included in the group of five persons as long as all these children are from the same household.

As previously announced, people who are medically ineligible for vaccination may also be included within such groups of five people from Dec 1.

These groups of five will be allowed to dine at only hawker centres and coffee shops which can check the vaccination status of diners.

The initial batch of hawker centres and coffee shops that are ready will start these checks from Tuesday and more will do so when they are ready with access control and systems to perform vaccination checks at entry points.

Otherwise, dining at hawker centres and coffee shops without these checks will remain at groups of up to two fully vaccinated people.

READ FULL STORY: Up to 5 vaccinated people from different households can dine out from Nov 22; gathering size raised to 5 for all

2. Social gathering group size and daily household visitors increased to five

The permitted social gathering group size will be increased from two to five people from Monday.

The cap of two distinct visitors per household per day will also increase to five.

The authorities said that unvaccinated individuals should continue to be cautious and protect themselves by reducing their movements and staying home as much as possible.

Visitors to households that have an unvaccinated person or a vulnerable elderly are strongly encouraged to test themselves prior to the visit to ensure that they do not unwittingly transmit Covid-19 to those who are vulnerable.

3. Visits to hospitals and residential care homes to resume

In-person visits to hospitals and residential care homes will resume from Monday, with strict vaccination-differentiated safe management measures in place.

This is to minimise the risk of outbreaks which may jeopardise the lives of vulnerable patients and residents, and affect the operating capacity of hospitals and homes.

The visits will be allowed only when both the hospital patient or home resident and their visitors are fully vaccinated.

Visits will also be allowed for patients, residents and visitors who are medically ineligible for vaccination.

If the patient, resident or visitor is not fully vaccinated, in-person visits will be allowed only under exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis, as advised by the hospitals and homes.

READ FULL STORY: Vaccinated people allowed to visit hospitals, residential care homes from Monday

4. Wedding couples can be unmasked throughout reception

Safe management measures for wedding solemnisations and wedding receptions will be adjusted from Monday so that couples can safely include more activities in their wedding celebrations.

This includes unmasking by the wedding couple throughout the reception or solemnisation event, dancing by the couple and singing by up to 10 members of the wedding party at the reception, while ensuring a 2m safe distance from other attendees.

To include such activities in their event, the wedding couple and members of their wedding party will be required to undergo a supervised antigen rapid test (ART) or have a valid pre-event test obtained within 24 hours prior to the event.

5. Vaccination required to enter public libraries

The authorities are expanding vaccination-differentiated safe management measures to more settings from Dec 1.

These include all libraries under the National Library Board and selected activities in community clubs or centres under the People's Association.

This is to reduce risk of transmission in such settings.

READ FULL STORY: Entry to libraries, participation in some community centre activities restricted to fully vaccinated people from Dec 1

6. More senior-centric activities

The authorities are working on the resumption of more senior-centric activities in a safe manner, drawing lessons from the resumption pilots launched so far by the People's Association and Sport Singapore.

In the coming weeks, seniors can look forward to more active-ageing programmes such as exercise programmes offered by the Health Promotion Board and participate in other forms of learning under the National Silver Academy.

7. Support measures to be tapered

As Singapore exits the stabilisation phase, the Government will be tapering off the support measures.

The Jobs Support Scheme for the period of Monday to Dec 19 will be reduced to 10 per cent from 25 per cent before for the following sectors: food and beverage, retail, cinemas, museums, art galleries, historical sites, family entertainment, tourism, gyms and fitness studios, and performing arts and arts education.

Rental waivers for cooked food and market stallholders in centres managed by the National Environment Agency or its appointed operators will be decreased to half a month from one month previously.

The Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund payout for taxi and private-hire car drivers will be at $10 per vehicle per day for next month and $5 for January 2022.

READ FULL STORY: Support measures to be lessened gradually as S'pore eases Covid-19 curbs, $90m package for firms and individuals

8. Booster doses can be taken after five months

Eligible people across all age groups will be able to receive their booster doses starting from five months after the completion of their first set of doses from Wednesday. SMS invitations will be sent to them before that.

The authorities encouraged everyone eligible for the booster vaccination to receive it when it is offered to them, so as to achieve high levels of protection.

The change comes as data shows that antibodies can wane by around six months after the second dose and earlier for older people, said the health ministry.

READ FULL STORY: People can get Covid-19 booster shots 5 months after their second dose from Wednesday

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