38 people who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 caught dining in at hawker centres

Those who are not inoculated or partially inoculated can enter hawker centres only to buy takeaway food. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Thirty-eight diners who were not vaccinated or partially vaccinated against Covid-19 were caught dining in at hawker centres between Oct 20 and Tuesday (Oct 26), in the first week after enforcement measures kicked in.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Thursday the diners were identified during checks by safe distancing enforcement officers.

It added that their particulars were taken down, but did not elaborate on what penalties they will face.

Vaccination-differentiated safe management measures - that limited dining in at hawker centres and coffee shops to only those who are fully vaccinated - started on Oct 13.

Those who are not inoculated or partially inoculated can enter hawker centres only to buy takeaway food. Exceptions are made for children aged 12 and below - they can eat at hawker centres even if they are not inoculated.

A ministerial task force said the measures are to protect unvaccinated people and reduce the strain on Singapore's healthcare system.

New daily Covid-19 cases climbed to 5,324 on Wednesday.

An advisory approach was taken between Oct 13 and Oct 19 to let people get used to the new rules that allow only groups of two fully vaccinated persons to dine in together.

NEA also said on Thursday it has taken action against 41 people between Oct 22 and Sunday for breaches of Covid-19 safe management measures at hawker centres.

They were caught for offences such as gathering in groups of more than two people, not maintaining a safe distance of at least 1m and not wearing masks properly.

First-time offenders who breach safe distancing measures are fined $300, and repeat offenders $1,000.

Offenders may face prosecution in court for egregious cases, and higher fines if convicted.

NEA urged the public to support hawkers safely by adhering to the Covid-19 measures.

Stallholders at hawker centres do not need to check their patrons' vaccination status. Instead, safe distancing enforcement officers will conduct selective checks of people who are dining in.

"We all have a part to play in protecting ourselves and people around us," NEA said.

"If you are not vaccinated, please take away your food instead of dining in."

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