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Hawkers, coffee shop operators welcome easing of Covid-19 curbs

Stay vigilant, urges Amy Khor; spot checks will still be carried out

Business operators have welcomed the easing of safe management measures at food and beverage establishments from Tuesday.

Fencing around the premises of hawker centres and markets will, for example, be removed, and vaccination-differentiated safe management measure (VDS) checks at entry points and issuance of stickers will also cease.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor said this will provide stallholders and patrons greater accessibility and convenience.

Dr Khor, who on Friday met representatives from hawkers' associations as well as those linked to coffee shops and their associations, said they are supportive of the easing of curbs.

On Thursday, the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 announced plans to ease community safe management measures, which come into effect on Tuesday.

Groups of 10 will be permitted at F&B establishments that have implemented full VDS.

Dining establishments that do not have VDS checks will be allowed to seat groups of five fully vaccinated diners without the need for vaccination status checks at entrances.

This will make it easier for operators who face difficulties in cordoning off their venues and setting up discrete access control points, especially hawker centres and coffee shops, the Ministry of Health has said.

Dr Khor said unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals will be allowed to get only takeaway food from these establishments.

She added that officers from the National Environment Agency and the Singapore Food Agency would be conducting spot checks at F&B establishments, and that enforcement action would be taken against unvaccinated individuals who are found dining in.

Resumption of the sale and consumption of alcohol after 10.30pm will be allowed, as well as live performances, busking and the screening of live broadcast programmes and recorded entertainment.

But while masks are optional for outdoor settings come Tuesday, they must still be worn in hawker centres and coffee shops.

Dr Khor also thanked the participants at the meeting for their help in ensuring that their premises are kept safe and clean for diners and operators.

She said: "With our continued collective efforts, the situation is stabilising and we can look forward to resuming even more activities safely in future."

She urged everyone to stay vigilant and continue to adhere to prevailing safe management measures to "protect ourselves and our loved ones".

Amy KhorHAWKER CENTREScovid-19