SINGAPORE: Self-service buffets will be allowed to resume from Apr 30 at F&B outlets, as well as events such as weddings, funerals and work-related or social gatherings, in line with Singapore's easing of COVID-19 measures.
Restaurants or caterers will be required to provide hand sanitisers or disposable gloves for their customers, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) in a joint advisory with several agencies on Friday (Apr 29).
"F&B establishments and caterers are required to provide at least two bottles of hand sanitisers (containing at least 60 per cent alcohol) or two packs of disposable gloves in the vicinity of a self-service buffet, with all starting points covered, regardless of where the self-service buffet is held," it added.
Businesses should remind customers to wear masks and use the hand sanitisers or disposable gloves when handling serving cutlery at the buffet counters, the advisory stated.
"They should frequently clean serving cutlery or replace them with cleaned ones," it added.
F&B establishments and caterers must ensure the food is covered.
"Where the food is not served in chaffing dishes with attached covers, F&B establishments and caterers should install plastic/glass barriers to protect food from exposure to environmental contamination or respiratory droplets from customers queueing at buffet lines," said the advisory.
If employees are serving the food to customers, hand sanitisers or disposable gloves need not be provided, said SFA in a separate circular. "However, the service staff should handle ready-to-eat food with clean serving cutlery or gloves," it added.
Self-service buffets have been suspended since April 2020 when Singapore announced its "circuit breaker" to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. While buffet lines were allowed to resume in April 2021, the food must be served by staff members.
When contacted by CNA on Friday, Captain Kim Korean BBQ & Hotpot Buffet's Tampines outlet said it will begin offering a self-service buffet from Saturday, but could not confirm if its other outlets would do the same.
The Landmark Restaurant, located in Village Hotel Bugis, also told CNA on the phone that it will offer a self-service buffet from Saturday.
Peppermint at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay said it is aware of SFA's announcement but does not have a date for resumption as of Friday.
Authorities reminded businesses and customers that mask-wearing continues to be required indoors. "Customers should put on their masks as soon as they have finished eating or drinking," said the advisory.
As previously announced, there is no longer a limit on group sizes but customers must be fully vaccinated to be able to dine in.
"F&B establishments should continue to inform customers that VDS (vaccination-differentiated safe management measures) is required for dining in," the advisory stated.
"Random spot checks will be done by enforcement agencies to ensure that only fully vaccinated individuals are dining in at such establishments."