On May 28th, 2021, people are walking on their lunch break in the Raffles Place financial district in Singapore.
Facebook Facebook logo Sign up on Facebook to connect with Roslan Rahman AFP | Getty Images
SINGAPORE – Singapore rolls out Covid measures on food depending on whether people have vaccines as new cases continue to rise.
Only fully vaccinated people and people who have recovered from Covid-19 will be able to eat in groups of five without Covid tests when the new rules come into effect on July 19, the Ministry of Health said in a press release on Friday.
These food and beverage stores need to set up systems to check their customers’ vaccination status.
Unvaccinated people need to do rapid antigen tests to group together in groups of five over mealtimes. The food in the restaurant is otherwise limited to groups of two people.
Children under the age of 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated can dine with members of the household without a Covid test. These groups are also limited to five.
Singapore considers people fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
Authorities previously said those who received syringes developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech will not receive the same perks as those who were vaccinated with Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. Sinovac’s vaccine has not been included in Singapore’s national vaccine program and is only available through a dedicated access route in the city-state.
The latest tightening of measures comes when Singapore announced that a cluster related to so-called KTV lounges has grown to 120 cases.
Night clubs, bars and KTV or karaoke TV lounges have been banned in Singapore since last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. These stores are considered to be high risk as the activities on the premises sometimes result in customers interacting with hostesses and drinking alcoholic beverages.
However, some decided to continue operating as food and beverage outlets. Some of them are suspected of breaking the rules by providing hostess services.
The number of new infections in the community last week is 127, up from 23 the week before, the Ministry of Health said in an update on July 15.
Singapore has reported 62,913 cases of Covid-19 as of July 16.
At a virtual press conference Friday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung told reporters that 73% of the population have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 45% are fully vaccinated.
Because of the vaccination appointments, that number is expected to rise to 50% next week, he added.
He said the country was “on track” to meet its goal of having two-thirds of its population fully vaccinated by August 9, its national day.