On Oct. 9, the Multi-ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced new Covid-19 vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) in Singapore.
From Oct. 13, unvaccinated individuals are not allowed to enter malls and attractions.
They will also not be allowed to dine in at hawker centres and coffeeshops. However, they are allowed to enter these venues to order food for takeout, MTF co-chair Minister Lawrence Wong said.
Update Oct. 13, 8:30am, Editor's note: An earlier version of the article had given the impression that unvaccinated individuals are allowed to enter malls and hawker centres to order food for takeout. Unvaccinated individuals are only allowed to enter hawker centres and coffeeshops to order takeout. We have amended the article to accurately represent the Ministry Of Health's Covid-19 measures.
FAQs on VDS
"Why are there tightened measures against the unvaccinated persons?"
Wong explained that the government is looking out for the unvaccinated in Singapore as "the risks are higher".
He added that the measures have been put in place to "safeguard the health and well-being" of these unvaccinated persons.
Wong said: "Imagine we have just 1.5 per cent of people who are unvaccinated seniors, but they make up two-thirds of the people in ICU (intensive care units), or who have passed away."
Ong then added: "Even if you are young but unvaccinated, don’t take for granted that you are safe."
"If I'm unvaccinated, can I go for my medical appointment in a mall?"
According to Wong, unvaccinated individuals who need to enter a mall to go to a general practitioner (GP) or dental clinic for medical treatment are allowed to do so.
"If I'm unvaccinated, can I bring my kids to childcare centres in a mall?"
Unvaccinated individuals can also enter malls to send their children to childcare services.
Wong added that children under 12 are already currently exempted from the VDS, and this will continue when the new measures kick in.
"If I'm unvaccinated, can I still go for staycations?"
Unvaccinated individuals can still go for staycations in hotels, said Wong.
However, they may not be able to enter a restaurant in the hotel.
"Will standalone supermarkets be a haven for the unvaccinated?"
There will be places, such as standalone markets and supermarkets, that unvaccinated individuals can go to to run their errands.
"We can't stop that," Wong said.
But he added:
"We appeal to everyone who is unvaccinated. You know the risks are higher when you are not vaccinated. So please take the necessary precautions."
"How can we enforce VDS in coffeeshops and hawker centres?"
For hawker centres and coffeeshops in Singapore, Wong said the government is relying on the operators to "see how best they can implement this new measure".
However, Wong added that the government will conduct spot checks.
"How can we prevent transmission on public transport?"
To prevent transmission on public transports, Ong said that ventilation is critical.
"Both buses, MRTs, and for that matter, planes, have very good ventilation. But it's also important to do our part. Don't chit chat and put down our masks. You can keep public transport very safe."
"How will the VDS protect the elderly?"
Data have shown that most of the Covid-19 cases in recent weeks have visited shopping malls, hawker centres, and coffeeshops, Wong said.
"That's why we've extended the vaccination-differentiated measures to these settings," he added.
Both Ong and Wong also answered questions relating to the new health protocols, border measures, and vaccines.
You can watch the full video on Ong's Facebook page:Or you can also watch it on Wong's Facebook page:Follow and listen to our podcast here:
Top image via Ong Ye Kung & Lawrence Wong's FB.