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Covid-19: Social gathering, dine-in cap cut to 2 persons from Sept 27 - Oct 24; work-from-home to be default arrangement

SINGAPORE — From next Monday (Sept 27) to Oct 24, the Government will reimpose a two-person limit for all social gatherings and for vaccinated people dining at eateries, down from the current cap of five.

Covid-19: Social gathering, dine-in cap cut to 2 persons from Sept 27 - Oct 24; work-from-home to be default arrangement

Eateries that are unable to ensure that all dine-in patrons meet the criteria for full vaccination may only operate take-away and delivery services from Sept 27 to Oct 24, 2021.

  • From Sept 27, social gatherings will be capped at two persons, down from five
  • Dining-in at eateries for vaccinated people will also be capped at two 
  • Work-from-home will be the default arrangement for all employees who are able to do so
  • The Government will introduce S$650 million worth of support measures for firms affected during this period


SINGAPORE — From next Monday (Sept 27) to Oct 24, the Government will reimpose a two-person limit for all social gatherings and for vaccinated people dining at eateries, down from the current cap of five.

For all employees who are able to work from home, that should be the default arrangement as well, the Government’s Covid-19 task force announced on Friday.

Those who are not vaccinated may continue to eat out at hawker centres and coffee shops in groups of up to two because these places are considered essential food services.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press statement on Friday that the following groups may also dine at eateries from next Monday, provided they keep to the two-person cap:

  • Unvaccinated individuals with a valid negative pre-event test result 

  • People who have recovered from Covid-19 

  • Children aged 12 years and below

The tightened measures are a response to the exponential rise in cases since the end of August, which have put a strain on Singapore’s healthcare and response system.

From next Monday, Singapore will move from the preparatory stage of its Covid-19 recovery to a “stabilisation phase”, MOH said.

“We will review the measures two weeks after implementation and adjust these based on the community situation then.”

To support firms through this stabilisation phase, the Government will introduce S$650 million worth of support measures.

“This will be funded from the higher-than-expected revenues collected to date. There will be no further draw on past reserves,” MOH added.

SOCIAL GATHERINGS

Households will be allowed to receive up to two unique visitors a day. 

Individuals should continue to limit their overall number of social gatherings to not more than one a day, whether to another household or meeting with friends and family members in a public place.

WORK-FROM-HOME ARRANGEMENT

As working from home will become the default arrangement, the 10-day snap work-from-home regime for people working in offices will be suspended.

There should continue to be no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites for those who need to return to their workplaces, MOH said.

Social gatherings at the workplace will continue to be disallowed. 

“Employers should continue to implement flexible working hours and stagger the start times of employees who need to return to the workplace,” MOH said.

The ministry “strongly encouraged” employees, contractors and vendors who are unable to work from home to test themselves weekly with an antigen rapid test kit to keep their workplace safe.

Those who are able to work from home but need to return to the workplace for ad-hoc reasons may do so after testing negative with an antigen rapid test before returning onsite.

FOOD-AND-BEVERAGE ESTABLISHMENTS

Food-and-beverage (F&B) establishments that are unable to ensure that all dine-in patrons meet the criteria for full vaccination may only operate take-away and delivery services.

Entertainment such as live performances, recorded music, as well as the screening of videos and television programmes will remain prohibited.

“Patrons to F&B establishments are also reminded to adhere to all safe management measures and keep their masks on at all times except when eating or drinking,” MOH said.

SUPPORT MEASURES FOR FIRMS

For firms in sectors significantly affected by the tightened measures, the Government will enhance the Jobs Support Scheme to provide subsidies for 25 per cent of employees’ wages for the four-week period.

These include the F&B and retail sectors, cinemas, museums, art galleries, historical sites, family entertainment venues, tourism-related business, gyms and fitness studios, as well as performing arts and arts education.

These sectors had received 10 per cent support from the scheme from Aug 19 to 31.

MOH said on Friday that the Government will also provide a two-week rental waiver for qualifying tenants on government-owned commercial properties.

Qualifying tenant-occupiers and owner-occupiers of privately owned commercial properties will also be given a two-week rental relief cash payout under the Rental Support Scheme.

Cooked food and market stallholders in centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators will receive a two-week rental waiver.

For taxi and private-hire car drivers, the Government will extend the Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund payout at S$10 and S$5 for each vehicle a day in October and November respectively.

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