Stickers for vaccinated diners at some foodcourts; only takeaway food for the unvaccinated

Staff will issue yellow stickers after verifying the vaccination status of patrons on their TraceTogether mobile app. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Vaccinated people who wished to eat at air-conditioned foodcourts in malls such as Junction 8, Nex and Plaza Singapura were checked at the entrance and given a sticker to identify them on Tuesday (Aug 10), the first day the ban on dining in was lifted.

Those unvaccinated and without a sticker could get only takeaway food.

There was some confusion among patrons about the new regulations earlier in the day and some groups of people were turned away as not all were fully vaccinated, staff and patrons told The Straits Times.

A staff member stationed at the entrance of a foodcourt in Nex said some customers thought two people could eat there together, regardless of vaccination status, and she had to explain the rules, which allowed this only at hawker centres and coffee shops.

However, as the day progressed and more people became aware of the rules, she had to explain less and turn down fewer people.

A 35-year-old housewife, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Soh and was dining in Nex with her six-year-old daughter, said she was aware of the rules but could see how it may be confusing to some people as foodcourts are similar to hawker centres and coffee shops.

When ST visited the foodcourt at Nex around 1pm, there was a queue of about 15 people at the entrance, waiting to get their vaccination status checked, although the line moved quite quickly.

From Tuesday, groups of up to five people are allowed to dine-in at eateries such as foodcourts and restaurants, if all of them are fully vaccinated.

Exceptions will be made for unvaccinated children aged 12 and below who may be included in the group as long as all such children are from the same household.

The Ministry of Health said someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received a full regimen of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccines, or any other vaccine under the World Health Organisation's Emergency Use Listing.

A customer showing proof of her vaccination status at Food Republic in Wisma Atria on Aug 10, 2021. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A steady flow of patrons could be seen streaming into the foodcourt at Junction 8 at lunchtime, most of them seniors and families with children.

But the lunchtime crowd at the Kopitiam foodcourt on the ground floor of Jurong East MRT station seemed relatively sparse.

A staff member was at the entrance issuing yellow stickers to those who were vaccinated, and red stickers to those who were not.

But such a centralised approach was not taken at the Koufu foodcourt in Jem.

Stallholders had to individually check on the vaccination status of each customer and issue stickers to them before they could place their order.

Mr Stanley Guan, 68, who is semi-retired, said he saw a stallholder turn away a customer who wanted to dine-in, providing only takeaway food as the person was not vaccinated.

"The rules are good for those who are vaccinated but inconvenient for those who are not. The rules must be made clearer because some people are still confused," he said.

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