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3 bars and pubs can stay open for another 2 months with extension of COVID-19 pilot progamme

3 bars and pubs can stay open for another 2 months with extension of COVID-19 pilot progamme

File photos of Bar Kiharu at Orchard Plaza, Bell Bar at Cuppage Plaza and Skinny's Lounge at Boat Quay. (Photos: Facebook/Bar Kiharu, Bell Karaoke Bar, Skinny's Lounge)

SINGAPORE: A small-scale pilot programme that allowed three bars and pubs to reopen in December will be extended by two months, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday (Feb 5).

Bar Kiharu at Orchard Plaza, Bell Bar at Cuppage Plaza and Skinny’s Lounge at Boat Quay will now be able to remain open until Apr 7 under the pilot programme which started on Dec 8.

The aim was to establish the viability and robustness of the stringent safe management measures (SMMs), and the ability of the nightlife industry in complying with them, before the Government considered further steps in resuming the industry, said MTI and MHA.

"Enforcement agencies have closely monitored the participating outlets’ compliance with the SMMs throughout the pilot duration and found that the SMMs were in place," said the ministries.

The three operators must continue to comply with the same COVID-19 safety measures set out for the nightlife industry. Enforcement agencies will also continue to monitor the compliance of those outlets and their customers with the safety measures.

READ: ‘Whatever it takes’ - Nightlife venues keen on reopening grapple with strict COVID-19 rules

READ: No to KTV, yes to CCTV - Bars reopen as part of COVID-19 nightlife pilot

PILOT TO BE LIMITED TO CURRENT 3 PARTICIPANTS

In view of the latest COVID-19 developments, the pilot will be limited to the current three bars and pubs.

"We have seen an increase in the number of unlinked community cases in Singapore recently," said the ministries.

"We will not be expanding the pilot to include more participants. This is to mitigate the risk of further community transmission and formation of clusters in high-risk settings."

The same consideration was taken last month to defer the start of a separate pilot for nightclubs and karaoke outlets.

That pilot was set to begin in January and last for three months.

"We will continue to monitor the public health situation closely, before any decision is taken to scale up the pilot for bars and pubs and/or commence the pilots for nightclubs and karaoke outlets," said the ministries on Friday.

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Source: CNA/aj(gs)

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