Diners to remove masks only while eating or drinking: MOH

Diners to remove masks only while eating or drinking: MOH

Singapore Phase 2 Toa Payoh coffeeshop
A coffeeshop in Toa Payoh sees the return of lunchtime crowds on Friday (Jun 19), the first day of Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Diners should only remove their masks while eating or drinking, rather than for "the whole duration" of the meal, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Jun 24).

Responding to media queries, MOH reiterated that masks must be worn at all times to prevent droplets from spreading COVID-19, except when performing strenuous activities or while eating or drinking.

"When not wearing a mask, individuals should minimise talking or singing to reduce the risk of droplet spread," said the ministry.

"Masks should be worn immediately after completing the strenuous activity or meal. Masks should not be removed for the whole duration while dining out, but only when actually eating/drinking.

"Masks are not permitted to be removed for the sole purpose of talking to others."

READ: People are 'dying to get out': Restaurants see dinner crowds as Singapore enters Phase 2 of reopening

MOH said the clarifications given were based on observations made since the start of Phase 2 of the circuit breaker reopening in Singapore. 

The ministry warned that with the resumption of more economic and community activities, "there is increased risk of a resurgence in community transmission, as we have seen in other countries".

"Hence, we must remain vigilant and disciplined in how we go about our daily activities."

MOH also emphasised the need to maintain safe distancing measures at all times. It also encouraged the public to limit gatherings to a group of up to five people and "limit our total interactions to a small and regular group of contacts".

READ: Restaurant ordered to close after crowds seen along Lorong Mambong in Holland Village

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Source: CNA/jt(ta)

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