Come June 19, dining in at F&B outlets will be allowed in Singapore, as we transition into Phase 2 post-circuit breaker. It goes without saying that there’ll be safe distancing measures in place to protect diners and F&B staff from the risk of Covid-19 transmission. If you’re finding it difficult to keep track of all the new regulations, you’ll want to bookmark this handy guide to dining out in Singapore during Phase 2.
Q: What F&B outlets are permitted to resume in Phase 2? Are bubble tea shops allowed to reopen?
A: All F&B establishments, including standalone F&B establishments predominantly selling beverages, can operate when Phase 2 begins on 19 June 2020. F&B establishments (with the exception of those with SFA food shop licences under the Pubs, Bars, Nightclubs and Discos categories) are permitted to provide dine-in services.
Q: How many people can I dine out with? Can I meet six friends for brunch at a café?
A: No. You’re only allowed to dine in a group of no more than five people, with at least one metre spacing between groups or tables. Making reservations and avoiding dining during peak hours will help reduce queues and crowds and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Q: Can my colleagues and I go out for lunch? It’s my colleague’s birthday — can we meet for dinner after work to celebrate?
A: If you’re within the workplace (in the canteen or pantries, for example), you must avoid socialising with your colleagues. You are also encouraged not to socialise with colleagues outside of the workplace, both during or outside working hours. Safe distancing of at least one metre should be maintained between all employees at the workplace at all times.
Q: Can I go watch my favourite live band perform in a restaurant?
A: Live music, radio broadcasts, television/video screenings and other forms of public entertainment such as dancing or karaoke are not allowed.
Q: Are eateries still serving alcohol?
Yes, but sales and consumption of alcohol in all F&B establishments will be prohibited after 10.30pm.
Q: Can I go for a buffet at my favourite restaurant?
No, self-service buffets are suspended. Buffet line catering is also not allowed.
Q: What safe management measures should I look out for in a restaurant or café when I’m dining in?
A: Restaurants, cafes and other outlets that serve dine-in customers are required to make sure the customers check in and check out using SafeEntry to facilitate the efficient collection of information for contact tracing. You will also be required to have your temperature taken, unless the restaurant is in a mall, which would already be doing so. If the restaurant operates outside the mall hours, the restaurant would have to do the temperature screening.
Customers should expect that F&B outlets maintain good standards of hygiene such as cleaning tables between each customer and using hand sanitisers after handling cash or high touch surfaces and devices. Serving utensils should also be provided for customers who are sharing food.
Dine-in customers are required to wear their masks at all times except when eating and drinking.
Q: Do I have to get my temperature taken when I’m buying bubble tea?
A: No. Temperature screening is not required for customers of kiosk outlets which only provide takeaway and/or delivery, where there is negligible or transient interaction with customers. However, food kiosk operators should be trained to ensure that safe management practices are implemented and communicate them to customers (e.g. maintaining at least one metre distancing between customers in the queue).
You must maintain at least one metre spacing between yourself and other customers when queuing or paying for food or drinks by following the queue lines demarcated for customers at entrances and cashier counters (e.g. through floor markers).
Q: Can I still pay for food and drinks by cash?
A: Customers are encouraged to use electronic payment solutions where possible, to minimise physical contact and handling of cash.
Q: I’m at an eatery with my family and some seats are marked out. Do we have to sit only in the unmarked seats even if we’re in the same group?
A: No. Members within the same group (of up to five persons) need not take alternate seats when dining together. However, the group must still be limited to five or fewer persons, with at least one metre spacing between groups. Where tables/seats are fixed, tables/seats would have been marked out to accommodate groups of no more than five, while ensuring at least one metre spacing between groups.
Q: I’m an F&B business owner. How can I find out if I am allowed to resume operations in Phase 2? I just want to double confirm.
A: The list of businesses that are allowed to operate from June 19 can be found on the COVID GoBusiness Portal. Businesses in the list need not apply to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for exemption before resuming operations. They are required to submit the number of workers who are working on-site using the COVID GoBusiness portal within two weeks of the date of resumption of on-site operations.
Q: How can I find out what safe management measures I should put in place in my restaurant as an F&B owner?
A: All F&B outlets must put in place Safe Management Measures which can be found on the COVID GoBusiness portal under “Safe Management Requirements” and on Enterprise Singapore’s website.
Some of the key requirements include ensuring that all employees, customers, delivery personnel and other on-site personnel wear masks at all times, except when eating and drinking. F&B establishments must also ensure that common spaces and items, as well as high-touch surfaces (e.g. counters, menus) and interactive components (e.g. iPads, smart kiosks) are frequently cleaned and disinfected.
F&B outlets must ensure that each table or group of diners is limited to five or fewer persons, with at least one metre spacing between tables or groups. They must clearly demarcate queue lines and ensure at least one metre spacing between customers at areas such as entrances and cashier counters (e.g. through floor markers). They should also train and deploy service personnel to provide clear communication to customers on safe distancing measures.