askST: How can I prove to restaurants that I have recovered from Covid-19?

People dining at a restaurant in Jurong Point on Aug 10, 2021. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - With dining out starting to pick up again, restaurants and other eateries have been seeing a steady stream of customers.

But some diners and food and beverage (F&B) outlets remain uncertain over what they are allowed to do under this latest set of rules that kicked in on Aug 10.

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions:

Q: I contracted Covid-19 six months ago but have recovered. How can I prove this to restaurants?

A: You can get a hard-copy notice exempting you from pre-event testing (PET) at any clinic that offers antigen rapid tests or polymerase chain reaction tests. You can show this notice to restaurant staff.

The list of clinics is available at this website.

You can obtain a PET Exemption Notice only if you have recovered within the last 270 days.

You may also show your discharge memo to restaurants if it indicates the period for which you are exempted from PET.

Q: Can I dine out with my family in a group larger than five, as long as we are from the same household?

A: Yes, you can.

However, you must be seated at separate tables, with no more than five people at each table. There must be at least 1m between the tables, with no mixing between different groups.

You are considered to be from the same household only if you share the same residential address.

Eateries are required to verify customers' claims that they are from the same household, and can reject patrons at their discretion.

Q: Can I dine out with my friends in a group larger than five, if we are seated at multiple tables?

A: No, you cannot - unless you are living with your friends. Exceptions to the five-person rule apply only to household members.

Q: I run a restaurant. Do I still need to take customers' temperatures? Can I screen videos?

A: From Aug 19, you will no longer need to conduct temperature screening. This is because the country has high levels of vaccine coverage and increased other surveillance methods, says Enterprise Singapore.

All forms of entertainment remain prohibited. These include live entertainment, radio broadcasts and recorded music, as well as the screening of videos and television programmes.

Q: How can I verify that a customer's PET Exemption Notice is authentic?

A: The notice should state clearly the date until which the customer is exempted from PET. It should be signed or stamped by the doctor and clinic issuing it.

You are allowed to verify that it belongs to the customer by checking it against government-issued photo identification.

Q: If my restaurant is open-air or has an al fresco dining area, can I seat groups of two people regardless of vaccination status?

As a general rule, the answer is "no". Only hawker centres and coffee shops are able to accept groups of two diners regardless of vaccination status.

In all other F&B settings, unvaccinated people must show a valid negative pre-event test before being able to join groups of fully vaccinated diners.

However, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong has said that the Government will be prepared to consider making exceptions for eateries that feel they qualify on a case-by-case basis.

"But if we were to proliferate and allow unvaccinated persons to dine in many different outlets, I think they will have more exposure outside and there would be greater risk of them catching the virus, which would then put their health and their lives at risk," he said.

"Therefore, we will be quite careful about extending this concession to other outlets."

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