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Circuit breaker: Standalone bubble tea outlets, hairdressers among businesses to be shut until at least May 4

SINGAPORE — From Wednesday (April 22), standalone food-and-beverage (F&B) outlets that sell only beverages, packaged snacks, confectionaries or desserts will have to close their outlets until at least May 4, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday.

Circuit breaker: Standalone bubble tea outlets, hairdressers among businesses to be shut until at least May 4

The mandated closures, which are effective from April 22, 2020, may be extended until June 1 depending on how much the transmission rates of Covid-19 have gone down.

SINGAPORE — From Wednesday (April 22), standalone food-and-beverage (F&B) outlets that sell only beverages, packaged snacks, confectionaries or desserts will have to close their outlets until at least May 4, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday.

The mandated closures, which are effective from 11.59pm Tuesday, may be extended until June 1 depending on how much the transmission rates of Covid-19 have gone down.

Among examples of businesses that have to stop operations are “specialised stores and outlets that predominantly” sell drinks including bubble tea, fruit juice, smoothies, soya bean, coffee and tea, MTI said.

The new restrictions are for individual outlets selling only beverages, packaged snacks, confectionaries or dessert, MTI said in a press release. It added that food stalls in hawker centres, coffeeshops and food courts are allowed to continue with their operations, including those that only sell such items.

All other F&B outlets that sell meals, cooked snacks or bread can continue to remain open but only for takeaway and delivery services. However, such outlets and convenience stores as well as vending machines in gardens, parks and nature reserves will be shut. 

Hair salons and barbers, originally allowed to open for only hair-cutting services, will also have to close.

The suspension of these “less critical consumer services” are part of the Government’s measures to further reduce the percentage of Singapore’s workforce who commute daily from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Tuesday at a media briefing held by the goverment task force to tackle the pandemic.

This is to minimise the movement and interaction of people to curb the spread of Covid-19, MTI reiterated in its press release.

Supermarkets and wet markets will continue to operate during the circuit breaker, which was originally slated to end on May 4 but has been extended until June 1.

Selected consumer-facing businesses will have to further reduce customer interactions. For example, optical shops may see customers only by appointment.

Pet supplies stores and manned laundry services must close their physical stories, but are allowed to do business online.

MTI reiterated that the number of businesses allowed to operate at their work premises will be reduced, especially those “less critical for daily living or for the maintenance of essential supply chains”.

Once they are notified by MTI, these businesses will have 24 hours to wind down their business operations completely.

MTI said: “While this may mean some degradation of services, it is necessary to further reduce the number of workers in essential firms and minimise the risks of transmission among workers.” 

To prevent community transmission in areas where people tend to crowd, temperature screening will be conducted at all supermarkets and malls with effect from Wednesday.

Shoppers entering supermarkets will also have to provide their personal particulars for contact tracing.

All workers who are permitted to work during the circuit breaker period are encouraged to log their entry into and exit from their workplaces using SafeEntry, a digital check-in application, MTI said. This is to ensure that contact tracing can be done quickly, the ministry added.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus business circuit breaker safe distancing MTI

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