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Unvaccinated people not allowed to dine in at hawker centres, enter shopping malls from Oct 13

Unvaccinated people not allowed to dine in at hawker centres, enter shopping malls from Oct 13
Patrons at a food court in People's Park Centre. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Unvaccinated individuals will not be allowed to enter shopping malls or dine-in at hawker centres and coffee shops from Wednesday (Oct 13).

Fully vaccinated individuals may continue to do so but only in groups of up to two people, announced the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday. 

Those who are unvaccinated can still take away food, added MOH. 

Co-chair of the multi-ministry task force Gan Kim Yong said these expanded vaccination-differentiated safe management measures will “further protect those who are not fully vaccinated”.

“There have been a few settings frequently visited by a significant proportion of infected individuals, including those who are unvaccinated, who later on fell very ill. Such settings include (food and beverage) outlets, retail establishments and shopping centres,” he added. 

Under the vaccination-differentiated measures, children aged 12 years and below, recovered individuals and unvaccinated people with a valid pre-event test result can be included in the group of two.

If there is more than one child aged 12 years and below in the group of two, both children must be from the same household, said the Health Ministry.

An individual aged more than 12 years may sit together with a child from a different household.

MOH said the expanded measures will help to reduce the strain on Singapore's healthcare system.

Enterprises that are able to implement the expanded measures earlier are "strongly encouraged" to do so, it added.

Supermarkets that are large standalone stores are exempted from the new requirements. 

NEW COMMUNITY MEASURES

The Government also announced other updated vaccination-differentiated safe management measures that will take effect next week. 

Only vaccinated individuals in groups of up to two will be allowed to enter attractions and large standalone stores from Oct 13. Children aged 12 and below can also be included in the group of two. 

In-person classes serving students aged 12 years and below will also be allowed to resume from Oct 11. Indoor mask-on and all outdoor activities and classes are capped at 50 people.

"I know there are some who would like us to move faster to relax the measures. They ask, if we are going to live with COVID, why should we hold back the relaxation, and in particular, why are we holding back on account of individuals who have deliberately chosen not to be vaccinated?" said co-chair of the multi-ministry task force Lawrence Wong.

Mr Wong said that the Government was concerned about unvaccinated seniors, but also vaccinated seniors and young children who are not eligible for vaccines.

"I want to assure everyone that we are taking all of your considerations to heart as we develop our COVID responses and strategies," he said, adding that the Government wants to manage the situation that it "does not overwhelm our healthcare system".

"We want to ensure that we will always have the ability to provide medical care to anyone who falls seriously ill from COVID-19, and that's why we will ease out of our stabilisation measures in a calibrated manner," he said.

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Source: CNA/cc(zl)

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