Singapore will ban all dining-in at F&B establishments and will default to having workers work from home from May 16 to June 13. 

This was announced by the country’s multi ministry task force on May 14. Under the new measures, visits to households and social gatherings will be limited to two persons, down from the current limit of five. 

The Health Ministry says dining in at F&B establishments, including hawker centers and coffee shops, will be stopped and eateries will only be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services. 

At the press conference by the task force, Education Minister Lawrence Wong says these are measures targeted at “higher-risk” settings, where “these higher risk settings are the ones where people are gathered to gather in an indoor environment without their mask on.”

MOH also added the recent clusters have demonstrated higher attack rates and secondary transmission occurs in mask-off settings, households, and at eateries. 

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To help F&B establishments cope with the tightened measures, the government will be increasing the Jobs Support Scheme to 50%, up from the present rate of 10% of gross monthly wages paid to local employees for F&B establishments,

This will apply to the first $4,600 of an employee's wages, and will cover the period for which dining-in is prohibited. 

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For hawker stall and coffeeshop tenants of Government agencies, one month of rental waiver will be provided, and commercial landlords are urged to support their F&B tenants through this period.

Furthermore, work-from-home arrangements will once again be the default, and social gatherings at the workplace will continue to be not allowed. 

MOH said employees who need to go back may have meal breaks at the workplace, but refrain from intermingling with their colleagues when their masks are taken off.

Other activities which will also not be allowed during this period include strenuous indoor exercise class or strenuous individual and group indoor sports and exercise activities. 

In addition, personalised services which require masks to be removed like facials and saunas will not be allowed. However, medical and dental services will be allowed to continue.

In line with the measures, large scale events, including weddings, funerals and MICE events will be reduced. 

Wedding receptions will not be allowed, but marriage solemnisations may continue for up to 100 participants with pre-event testing (PET) and 50 participants without PET.

Wong said there is an exception for couples with weddings this weekend, and the task force is prepared to “grandfather” the previous restrictions, but the couple has to implement PET for all their guests. 

MOH announced that congregational and other worship services. Congregational and other worship services may continue with a reduced capacity of 50 attendees at any one time without PET, or up to 100 attendees at any one time with PET implemented. 

To further mitigate the risk of spread through aerosol transmissions, religious workers and all other participants must wear their masks at all times. Live singing and playing of wind instruments will also be suspended during this period.

The occupancy limits for shopping malls and showrooms will be further reduced from the current limit of 10 square meters per person of Gross Floor Area (GFA) to 16 square meters per person. Odd and even date entry restrictions on Sundays for popular malls will continue.

Separately, the operating capacity of attractions that have received the Trade and Industry’s Ministry approval to open will be reduced to 25% from the current permissible capacity of 50%.

Indoor and outdoor shows may proceed with up to 100 persons with PET, and up to 50 persons without PET, while museums and public libraries will be allowed to operate at a reduced capacity of 25%.

As for cinemas, up to 100 persons may be allowed into cinema halls with PET implemented. Without PET, only up to 50 persons may be allowed. The prevailing group size of 2 persons applies, and food and beverages may not be sold or consumed in the cinema.

MICE and live performances will be allowed up to 100 persons with PET, and up to 50 persons may be allowed without PET. Unmasking is not allowed for speakers and performers, and there should be no singing or playing of instruments that require intentional expulsion of air, like wind and brass instruments.

Wong also said that the task force will do a review of the measures in two weeks, and “ if indeed the situation does not improve, we certainly will roll out even more stringent measures. But there is also a chance that things may improve, and then, we may also consider the other way around, easing some of the restrictions.”