The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on July 16 that dining-in at food and beverage (F&B) establishments will be restricted to two persons from July 19 to August 8.
This is a decrease from the five persons allowed currently.
Group sizes will be limited to two persons for hawker centres, food courts, and coffee shops as a default.
The Ministry of Health said that this is because it would be challenging to check the status of individuals before they seat themselves at a table at such venues, where they have a more porous setting and generally do not impose mandatory Safe Entry check-in.
The two-pax dining in restriction also applies to all other types food establishments.
However, dine-in groups of up to five persons are permitted for the following groups of individuals below at establishments which can put in place systems to check the status of individual patrons.
Do note that the five-pax dine in exceptions below do not apply to hawker centres, food courts, and coffee shops.
1) Fully-vaccinated individuals
According to MOH, fully-vaccinated individuals have good protection against infection and severe illness, and are also less likely to infect others as compared to unvaccinated individuals.
As such, fully-vaccinated individuals may continue to dine-in in groups of up to five persons, and only at F&B establishments with systems in place to check the status of such individuals.
An individual is considered fully-vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccine.
2) Unvaccinated individuals with negative test result and recovered individuals
Unvaccinated individuals with a valid negative pre-event test (PET) result in the past 24 hours or for the duration of dining-in and individuals who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 270 days may continue to dine-in in groups of five as MOH said they are of similarly lower risk.
3) Children aged 12 and below
Children below the age of 12, who are currently ineligible for any Covid-19 vaccine in Singapore's national vaccination programme, are not required to undergo a pre-event test.
This is because it is more challenging to swab these young children for PET, according to MOH.
For children who are not from the same household, they should constitute not more than half of the dine-in group.
A concession will be made for members of the same household to dine-in together, with their unvaccinated children aged 12 years and below, and in groups of up to five persons.
Individual F&B establishments have the flexibility to decide whether to introduce the vaccination-differentiated group sizes, depending on their own operating model and clientele, and their ability to check the status of dining-in individuals.
Entertainment such as live performances, recorded music and videos/TV screening, will continue to be prohibited at F&B establishments.
The ministry also reminded patrons of F&B establishments to adhere to all safe-management measures and to keep their masks on at all times except when eating or drinking.
Top image: Mothership.