Guide Dog Access In Food Places & Malls Is Allowed, Including McDonald’s

Guide dogs, which are used by the visually impaired to get around, are still rather misunderstood in Singapore — probably due to their rarity.

There’ve been cases where guide dogs are turned away from malls, F&B establishments and other places, but they’re actually allowed.

Thankfully, one F&B place rectified a mistake it made earlier and offered a girl a free meal as an apology. The incident was shared by Guide Dogs Singapore Ltd on Saturday (15 Aug), who want to raise awareness about them here.

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They thank McDonald’s for their response and are working with them to ensure that their staff are made aware of guide dog access in F&B places.

Lady with guide dog turned away from McDonald’s

At some point recently, staff at a McDonald’s branch apparently turned someone with a guide dog away, telling them they could not enter the premises.

However, this came about due to a misunderstanding. Following the incident, McDonald’s reached out to Sophie and offered her a free meal.

This time, with her guide dog in tow.

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Guide dogs are in fact allowed in these places, even Halal establishments.

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Guide dogs still misunderstood in Singapore

Unfortunately, cases like Sophie’s are not uncommon among the guide dog community here.

Other cases involving guide dogs and food places – including one at Subway – have caused a lot of inconvenience to these users.

Subway Customer With Guide Dog Denied Entry, Brand Promises To Educate Staff

Guide Dogs Singapore Ltd has a page where they detail the places guide dogs can access here.

As long as the guide dog fulfills the following, they’re allowed to enter F&B places as well as toilets within:

  • Kept under proper control
  • Restrained from straying or causing annoyance or nuisance to any person or animal, or damage to any property
  • Held in a leash

They’re also allowed to enter MRT stations, as an exception to the rule against animals.

The Mufti Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) also advises kindness towards guide dogs as they help humans and do good.

McDonald’s traning staff in regard to guide dogs

The staff involved in the case may have been unaware of the rules around guide dogs.

However, McDonald’s are working with Guide Dogs Singapore Ltd to train their staff on this.

The training should hopefully help avoid inconvenient situations in the future.

Kudos to McDonald’s for rectifying their initial error with the free meal and reiterating that guide dogs are definitely allowed in their premises.

Do let others, who may not be aware, know about the guidelines as well.

Also watch:

Singapore’s ‘Invisible’ Community – Blind With A Guide Dog

Featured image adapted from Facebook.