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Dining in while unvaccinated: Negative COVID-19 result a must unless eating at hawker centres, coffee shops

Dining in while unvaccinated: Negative COVID-19 result a must unless eating at hawker centres, coffee shops
Patrons at the usually busy food court at People's Park Centre sit apart. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Unvaccinated people can dine in at food and beverage establishments if they have a negative pre-event COVID-19 result from an approved test provider, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) early on Tuesday (Aug 10).

Those aged 13 and above who have not been vaccinated must have a valid negative antigen rapid test (ART) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result in the last 24 hours.

Self-administered antigen rapid tests - including those supervised by employers - are not recognised, MOH said in its clarifications of the vaccination-differentiated safe management measures.

Dining-in at F&B outlets resumed on Tuesday for fully vaccinated people in up to groups of five as part of Singapore's two-step easing of COVID-19 measures. The fully vaccinated status applies two weeks after receiving a full regimen of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna vaccine as well as any vaccines on the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergency-use listing.

Vaccination-differentiated COVID-19 restrictions in Singapore, Aug 10, 2021

Children 12 years old and below can dine in so long as all children at a given table are from the same household.

Another group who are allowed to dine in are recovered COVID-19 cases who have a valid pre-event test exemption notice, which can be obtained by people who have recovered in the last 270 days from any clinic offering ART or PCR testing services.

MOH and Enterprise Singapore also clarified that F&B establishments are "not allowed to accept any dine-in customers who do not meet the criteria" above.

"Enforcement officers will be doing their checks, and will take strict enforcement actions against any F&B establishments and individuals who do not comply with these rules," added the authorities.

Unvaccinated individuals who do not meet any of the criteria can dine in groups of up to two only at coffee shops and hawker centres.

"We encourage unvaccinated individuals who dine at such locations to vigilantly maintain hand hygiene, and not to linger after their meals, in order to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19," said MOH.

VACCINATION STATUS VERIFICATION

All Singapore residents who obtained their Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine locally would automatically have their vaccination records updated in the National Immunisation Registry and reflected on the TraceTogether and HealthHub apps from Tuesday.

This will enable businesses using the SafeEntry (Business) app to verify their customers' vaccination status, said MOH.

Those who received the Sinovac jab locally will be able to access their vaccination record on the HealthHub app from Tuesday, pending further updates to the TraceTogether and SafeEntry (Business) apps.

Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who have been fully vaccinated overseas will have to provide documents proving their inoculation and take a serology test at an approved provider to confirm that the vaccination has been effective. They must have been immunised with a vaccine under the WHO's emergency-use listing.

Their vaccination record will be updated in the National Immunisation Registry, and reflected on their TraceTogether and HealthHub apps, upon a positive serology result.

MOH said a separate process for short-term visitor pass holders who were vaccinated overseas to update their vaccination status on the registry is "still being worked out, and details will be released soon".

The ministry added: "Hard copies of overseas vaccination certificates will not be accepted for the vaccination-differentiated safe management measures. This is because it will be difficult for individual establishments to verify the authenticity of these certificates which are issued in different formats and languages.

"We look forward to the cooperation of all Singaporeans as we strive towards a COVID-resilient Singapore."

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Source: CNA/jt(ac)

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