On Saturday (19 Jun), Finance Minister Lawrence Wong sat down with MS News for a chat about how authorities in Singapore are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the issues we discussed were whether families can sit together when dine-ins resume on 21 Jun, and whether the current restrictions will be lifted any time soon.
He explained that there’s a need to ensure that there are no changes or deviation in F&B settings.
Meanwhile, Minister Wong also mentioned a tentative target of mid-Jul for when restrictions may be reviewed or lifted further as authorities wish to see higher vaccination rates first.
Check out the livestream here if you missed it, but we have a summary of some of the questions about dine-ins below as well.
In response to a question about why families can’t sit together at F&B places, Minister Wong said that this is to ensure F&B settings remain at a standardised 2 per table.
So if you’re from the same household and there’s more than 2 of you, you’ll be allowed to book multiple tables — but with 2 diners to a table.
However, diners not from the same household may not do this.
An example of where this isn’t allowed is when a group of 4 diners wish to sit together in multiple tables of 2.
Babies and the elderly must follow the 2-to-a-table rule as well.
Although Minister Wong said that families can’t bring their young baby out for dine-in at a single table as “it’ll be hard to enforce if people ask for exceptions”, families will be able to sit adjacent to each other.
This is of course provided they are from the same household.
On how long the current dine-in restrictions will last, Minister Wong noted the need for higher take-up of vaccinations first.
“Mid-July is the timeline set because we want to see vaccination rates go up higher. We’re expecting some deliveries of vaccine supplies coming in the next few days,” he said, which will help ramp up vaccination rates.
Additionally, authorities also wish to get a testing regime for F&B outlets & gyms in particular.
“We require people working in these higher-risk settings to be tested regularly using antigen rapid test (ART) kits,” and this will give the government more confidence to move onto the next stage.
In line with this, F&B outlets will be safeguarded against Covid-19 via not only increased testing via ART kits, but also by encouraging anyone unwell to not go out.
Masks should also be kept on at all times unless eating and drinking at these establishments.
The much-anticipated dine-ins will resume from Monday (21 Jun) onwards, following a month where this wasn’t allowed.
Although the 2-pax rule is not ideal for larger groups, it’s good to see that families from the same household can at least dine together in adjacent tables.
With more vaccination take-up, we may soon get to eat together in larger groups.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook and by MS News.
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