Phase 2 Safe Distancing Rules Must Still Be Followed By Those Dining Out, Warns MSE

When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that Phase 3 will arrive on 28 Dec, many Singaporeans might have been delighted.

It means that they’d be able to hang out with more people, as groups of up to 8 will be allowed to gather and dine out.

However, you’d be mistaken if you think that means the authorities will now be more forgiving if we dine in groups of more than 5.

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In fact, Singaporeans eating out have been reminded that the rule of 5 still applies till 28 Dec.

In the upcoming days before then, checks will be stepped up at food and beverage (F&B) outlets across Singapore to catch those who don’t comply.

Many may wish to meet family & friends during festive period

In a press release on Friday (18 Dec), the Ministry for Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said it understood that many Singaporeans may wish to meet up with family and friends.

Especially since it’s now the festive period, and popular places like Orchard Road will be happening, what with the annual light-up and all.

However, dining out involves “considerable risks”, the ministry said.

Photo for illustration purposes only

Thus, we must still take safe distancing measures very seriously.

Rule of 5 still applies till 28 Dec

As such, though only about 10 days more remains of Phase 2, MSE reminded patrons and F&B outlets that the current rules must still be followed.

That means as long as it isn’t 28 Dec yet, the rule of 5 still applies.

In short, that means:

  1. Social gatherings of groups of more than 5 in public are not allowed.
  2. Groups of more than 5 who patronise F&B outlets will be fined, even if they’re in separate tables.
  3. F&B outlets aren’t allowed to accept bookings from groups of more than 5.
  4. Intermingling between groups isn’t allowed.
  5. Alcohol can’t be served or consumed at F&B outlets after 10.30pm.
  6. Masks must be worn by patrons when not eating or drinking.

Though such rules aren’t new, and have been in force for months, MSE has still reported numerous cases of F&B outlets and patrons not following them.

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That’s why they still bear repeating even up till now.

Remain vigilant over the festive period

To protect the community from the further spread of Covid-19, MSE advised Singaporeans not to let the festivities prompt them to let their guard down.

We should still remain vigilant as the virus is still a “grave threat”, the ministry added.

Thus, enforcement checks will be stepped up during the festive season – starting from this weekend and “over the next few weeks”.

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For those who’re caught disregarding safe distancing rules, whether they’re businesses or individuals, the Government will take strong enforcement action against them.

Offenders will face “prosecution to the full extent of the law” – whether that means fines or temporary closures for businesses.

Possible to celebrate in small numbers wearing masks: Grace Fu

In a Facebook post on Friday (18 Dec), Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said it’s still possible to celebrate while following the rules.

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One way to do so is to rejoice in small numbers and with masks on, she added.

Warning against a 2nd wave that many countries are experiencing now, she urged Singaporeans to keep being socially responsible so as not to waste the “hard-earned progress” during a “very challenging year”.

Follow safe distancing measures for a better New Year

Now that a tough year is coming to and end, do celebrate and relax with your friends and family.

However, it’s important to remember that in order for next year to be much better than this one, we should follow safe distancing measures that are designed to keep us safe.

The authorities aren’t fooling around just because the rules will be relaxed soon, and neither should you.

So let’s have a very safe Christmas and a better New Year.

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Featured image from MS News and is for illustration purposes only.