Coronavirus Singapore

Dining in, personal care services to be banned till Aug 18

These activities carry higher risk of infection; wedding receptions exempted

Dining in and other mask-off activities that carry a higher risk of Covid-19 infection will be banned once more when Singapore reverts to phase two (heightened alert) measures from tomorrow till Aug 18.

All food and beverage (F&B) establishments, including hawker centres and foodcourts, will be allowed to offer only takeaway and delivery services during this period, the Ministry of Health said yesterday. Cinemas, too, must not serve food or drinks.

Wedding receptions are the sole exception to the ban on dining in.

"We acknowledge that wedding couples have faced significant uncertainties over the past few months," said MOH.

"Hence, as a special provision, wedding receptions may be allowed to continue."

However, pre-event testing must be conducted for all attendees, and the reception must be limited to 100 attendees in total. Group sizes will remain capped at five people per table.

"This will allow couples to continue with their wedding plans, albeit with some adjustments," said MOH, adding that all attendees must nonetheless strictly abide by the prevailing safe management measures, maintain social distancing and avoid mingling with others beyond their own table.

The ministry also strongly discouraged unvaccinated individuals from attending such events until they are fully vaccinated.

Following yesterday's announcement, the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) called on the Government to make it mandatory for landlords to offer rental rebates.

RAS president Andrew Kwan said most F&B operators have been operating at a reduced seating capacity of 40 per cent on average.

"Business has suffered in unprecedented ways, resulting in huge struggles for F&B operators," he said.

Mr Kwan added that most landlords have not offered any rebates beyond what the Government extended to tenants in government-owned properties despite the tighter measures in place during phase two and phase three.

He said RAS is asking the Government to make it mandatory for landlords to "meaningfully assist" F&B tenants and give rebates in proportion to lost revenue.

Personalised care services that involve patrons removing their masks, such as facials, saunas and make-up services, must also cease. The same goes for strenuous indoor exercise classes or sports activities involving participants removing their masks.

Indoor classes where individuals keep their masks on, as well as outdoor activities, can continue with class sizes capped at 30 and groups capped at two.

Activities that involve singing and the playing of wind instruments will also not be allowed.

These restrictions will not apply to medical and dental consultations that require patients to have their masks removed, but non-medical facial treatments will not be exempted.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2021, with the headline 'Dining in, personal care services to be banned till Aug 18'. Subscribe