Enforcement officers will patrol hawker centres & coffeeshops to check diners’ vaccination status

NEA and SFA may focus their checks during peak hours and at hotspots that have larger congregations of unvaccinated seniors.

Fasiha Nazren | October 09, 2021, 06:10 PM

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On Oct. 9, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced that it will include vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) for hawker centres and coffeeshops.

This means that only fully vaccinated persons will be allowed to dine at hawker centres and coffeeshops, in groups of up to two.

These measures will take effect from Oct. 13, 2021.

Selective checks on vaccination status

Following the announcement, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) issued a joint press release, announcing that safe distancing enforcement officers (SDEO) will patrol hawker centres and coffeeshops and conduct selective checks to verify the vaccination status of diners.

Diners will have to show these officers their vaccination status via the TraceTogether app or to provide their TraceTogether token to be scanned for their vaccination status.

Those found to have breached the VDS will be warned and have their particulars recorded.

Enforcement action will be taken against repeat offenders and those who refuse to cooperate.

Regular reminders and signage

Signage will also be displayed at the entrances of hawker centres and coffee shops to remind patrons of this new rule.

Regular reminders will also be made via the public announcement system where available.

Safe distancing ambassadors and enforcement officers will take a pragmatic and selective approach to avoid inconveniencing the large majority of diners who are fully vaccinated and regularly patronise hawker centres for their meals.

According to the press release, agencies may focus their checks during peak hours and at hotspots that have larger congregations of unvaccinated seniors.

Working together with town councils and coffeeshop operators

Both agencies acknowledged that mandatory checking of vaccination status at access points of these establishments will cause considerable inconvenience to the diners and those ordering takeaways for a quick meal.

Instead, NEA and SFA will work with town councils and coffee shop operators respectively, to deploy personnel to verbally advise patrons on the VDS.

NEA will also work with the Hawkers’ Associations for stallholders to advise regular patrons who are unvaccinated to get vaccinated, and to refrain from dining in.

To ensure space and safe distancing between diners as well as stallholders, more seats and tables at particularly congested hawker centres will be cordoned off, if necessary.

On the other hand, SFA will work with coffee shop operators to do their part to check their dine-in patrons’ vaccination status wherever possible, for instance at fixed points such as the drinks stall when patrons purchase drinks.

Top image from Mothership.

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