6 non-fully vaccinated people found dining in at hawker centres since COVID-19 restrictions eased: MSE

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SINGAPORE: Six people who were not fully vaccinated were found dining in at hawker centres since many COVID-19 restrictions were eased on Apr 26, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said on Friday evening (May 13).

Those who dine at hawker centres and coffee shops must be fully vaccinated as vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS), despite the absence of entry checks, still apply to all food and beverage (F&B) outlets.

The six people will each be fined S$300, an MSE spokesperson said in response to queries from CNA.

Together with the lifting of group size limits, authorities had announced that VDS would be removed from Apr 26 in all but three settings that were assessed to pose a higher risk of transmission.

These are F&B outlets, nightlife establishments where dancing is an activity, as well as events with more than 500 participants.

When group sizes were capped at 10, F&B establishments – including hawker centres and coffee shops – had already been allowed to seat smaller groups of five fully-vaccinated people without the need for full VDS checks at their entrances to ease their operational burden, the Ministry of Health (MOH) had said.

Instead, authorities will conduct random spot checks to ensure that only vaccinated persons are dining in, MOH said, adding that the onus is on diners to abide by the rules.

From Apr 26 to May 9, random spot checks were conducted at various F&B establishments for the vaccination status of those who dined in, the MSE spokesperson said without giving figures.

For hawker centres and coffee shops, enforcement officers from the National Environment Agency and Singapore Food Agency conducted more than 20,000 "selective" spot checks in that period, or more than 1,450 checks a day, the spokesperson said.

"Six unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated persons were found dining at hawker centres while all individuals at the coffeeshops who were checked had valid vaccination certificates," the spokesperson added.

"Personal and social responsibility by individuals in adhering to safe management measures is critical to living with COVID-19. The onus is on diners to ensure they are fully vaccinated."

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