Unvaxxed individuals cannot dine in at hawker centres & coffeeshops or enter malls from Oct. 13

Revised testing protocols.

Faris Alfiq | October 09, 2021, 02:07 PM

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The Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced today, Oct.9, that starting Oct. 13, only a maximum of two fully-vaccinated individuals are allowed to dine-in at hawker centres, coffeeshops and other food and beverage establishments.

Those who do not meet the criteria can still buy take-away food at hawker centres and coffeeshops.

Similarly, only a maximum of two fully vaccinated persons are allowed to enter shopping malls and attractions.

The expanded vaccination differentiated measure was in response to epidemiological investigations that had identified food and beverage settings such as hawker centres, retail establishments, and shopping centres as settings frequently visited by a significant proportion of Covid-19 positive cases, including those who are unvaccinated, and later on, fell very sick.

Currently, only those who are fully-vaccinated are allowed to dine in at restaurants while both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are allowed to dine in hawker centres and coffeeshops.

Revised testing protocols

Starting from Oct. 11, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced that it is simplifying the testing protocols and Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) will be used for people who are well, such as in community testing and management of contacts of Covid-19 cases.

The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test will be reserved mainly for individuals who feel unwell and have symptoms.

According to the task force, the revised testing protocols marks a shift in emphasis towards personal responsibility and self-management.

Protocol 1: Unwell and tested positive

For those who are unwell and tested positive for Covid-19, they:

  • Should see a doctor;
  • Will be placed on the Home Recovery Programme by default. If the home environment is not suitable, they can recover at the appropriate care facilities;
  • Will be isolated for 10 days if they are fully vaccinated or 14 days if they are unvaccinated;
  • Will be discharged after their respective isolation periods without the need for further tests at the point of discharge.

Protocol 2: Well and tested positive

For those who are well and tested positive for Covid-19, they:

  • Should self-isolate at home for the next 72 hours,
  • Can re-test, if negative, they may exit isolation and resume normal activities.
  • If they become unwell at any time, they should see a doctor.

Protocol 3: Notification of Health Risk Warning

Moving away from Quarantine Orders (QO), Health Risk Alerts (HRA), and Health Risk Warnings (HRW), there will now be a single approach – a HRW that lasts seven days from the day of its issuance, that is based on ART self-testing.

For those who receive a Health Risk Warning (HRW):

  • Should immediately self-isolate, and test with an ART on the day of the HRW issuance,
  • Upload the Day 1 ART result based on the instruction in the HRW notification,
  • If negative, they can continue with normal activities for the day,
  • From day 2 to 7, they should test ART negative on the same day before going out.
  • Day 7, they should test themselves with an ART, and if the test is negative, there is no further need for tests after that.
  • On any day they are tested positive, refer to Protocol 2.

For those already in the system and following previous protocols, some transitional arrangements will be made.

For current Covid-19 patients, they will need to serve out the 10-day or 14-day isolation, depending on their vaccination status.

For those on quarantine order, there is no need for an exit PCR test.

Another round of ART distribution

To provide greater support for regular self-testing at home, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will be conducting another round of distribution of ART kits from Oct. 22  to Dec. 7, via SingPost.

Each household will receive a package containing 10 ART self-test kits.

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Top image via Galen Crout on Unsplash