Pilot for bars and pubs to reopen extended by 2 months, but will not include more outlets

Bell Bar was one of three outlets which reopened on Dec 8, 2020, under the pilot programme.
Bell Bar was one of three outlets which reopened on Dec 8, 2020, under the pilot programme.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A small-scale pilot to allow some bars and pubs to reopen has been extended by two more months to April 7, but will not be extended to more outlets.

This is to mitigate the risk of further community transmission and formation of clusters in high-risk settings, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a joint statement on Friday (Feb 5) evening.

"The same consideration was taken to defer the commencement of the nightlife pilots for nightclubs and karaoke outlets, as announced by MTI and MHA on Jan 18," the authorities added, citing the recent increase in unlinked community cases here.

However, the two ministries noted that enforcement agencies have closely monitored the participating outlets' compliance with the safe management measures since the pilot started on Dec 8 and found that measures were in place.

As such, the pilot has been extended by two more months to April 7, with no changes to the participating outlets and prescribed safe management measures.

For instance, recorded music may be played at no louder than 60 decibels, while live music, radio broadcasts and all forms of television/video and other forms of public entertainment like dancing, darts, billiards, pool, or karaoke are not allowed.

No sale, serving or consumption of liquor is allowed within the bars and clubs past 10.30pm, like for other food and beverage outlets.

Three outlets - Bar Kiharu in Orchard Plaza, Bell Bar in Cuppage Plaza and Skinny's Lounge in Boat Quay - were allowed to reopen when the pilot began, and can continue to operate, in compliance with the measures.

"Enforcement agencies will also continue to monitor the compliance of these outlets and their customers with the safe management measures," said MTI and MHA, warning that enforcement actions like fines or jail sentences may be taken for breaches.

The authorities added that they will continue to monitor the public health situation closely before deciding to scale up the pilot for bars and pubs and/or begin the pilots for nightclubs and karaoke outlets.