5-persons dine-in rule remains unchanged for now: Ong Ye Kung

Exercise restrain, exercise caution, meet people only when you have to, Ong said.

Zhangxin Zheng | July 14, 2021, 06:37 PM

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"Don't just because the rules allow, we go out and meet 5 people all the time," Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung said at a virtual doorstop today (July 14).

Ong's remark was made in response to the latest Covid-19 outbreak involving Vietnamese hostesses from different KTV outlets.

The health minister also said that the five-person dine-in rule will stay for now.

Potentially very big cluster involving KTV lounges

This afternoon, the Ministry of Health reported a "fairly big cluster" that emerged from KTV lounges across Singapore.

Out of the 56 new locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases reported today, 41 are related to this cluster.

The number of local cases is expected to increase due to this growing cluster, Ong said, adding that this is a "very troubling and disappointing" situation.

He explained that nightlife establishments have been closed for over a year to avoid such scenarios from happening, learning from what had happened in Korea and Hong Kong.

The police will take enforcement action against Covid-19 rule breakers but the top priority is to get those who had visited KTV lounges or interacted with hostesses to come forward to get tested, Ong said.

No change to five-persons dine-in rule

When asked if this latest development will affect dining-in restrictions which were recently relaxed, Ong said that the five-person limit on dining in will remain unchanged.

The number of patrons allowed to dine-in at F&B outlets has increased from two to five earlier on Monday (July 12).

Ong explained that the Multi-Ministry Taskforce has "thought long and hard about it".

Given that the new rule just kicked in for a few days and coupled with a much higher level of vaccination rate in Singapore now, the government will still allow for five people to dine in at F&B outlets, Ong replied.

"We are in a more resilient position than before," he said.

However, the health minister urged people to exercise restrain and caution during this period.

"So as for now, we will keep the rules that has come into effect since Monday, and so there will not be any reversal. But I do want to urge everybody, don't just because the rules allow you, we just go out and meet five people all the time.

Given the cases, because of the KTV lounges [which can be] potentially quite a huge cluster, exercise restrain, exercise caution, meet people only when you have to. Be with your family [and] a few same old friends if you can, and try not to circulate too much in the community.

We do have a fairly big cluster, I believe, growing from the KTV lounges."

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Top image via MOH video screenshot