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Have safe-distancing crew check vaccine status at hawker centres and coffee shops, so up to 5 can dine in

With the imposition of the two-person rule for dining at hawker centres and coffee shops, many fully vaccinated customers in groups of up to five are unable to patronise such places.

Have safe-distancing crew check vaccine status at hawker centres and coffee shops, so up to 5 can dine in

Instead of a blanket rule banning groups of five fully vaccinated diners, the letter-writer suggests that the authorities have safe-distancing ambassadors carry out random checks on diners’ vaccination status.

Benny Tan

With the imposition of the two-person rule for dining at hawker centres and coffee shops, many fully vaccinated customers in groups of up to five are unable to patronise such places. 

This rigid rule not only deprives vaccinated people of the option of eating affordably in a group, but it strips hawkers of a chance to sell their food to more people, causing their business to plunge. 

For example, for weeks, my four other fully vaccinated colleagues and I have not been able to eat at hawker centres in a group. We end up grudgingly paying more to dine at an air-conditioned food court.

In every hawker centre run by the National Environment Agency, I note that there are often several safe-distancing ambassadors at work. 

The authorities have said that requiring vaccination checks at hawker centres and coffee shops would "add to the burden of already-struggling operators and stallholders".

But, instead of a blanket rule banning groups of five fully vaccinated diners, why can't the authorities have the safe-distancing ambassadors carry out random checks on diners’ vaccination status? 

The burden of such checks should not rest with operators and hawkers.

Safe-distancing ambassadors could be stationed at the entrances to check on diners’ vaccination status or they could do spot checks on groups of three to five seated diners. 

It should not be a difficult task, since most diners are compliant. Few would want to risk the embarrassment of being found out to be unvaccinated and punished with a fine.

I do not think that it is fair for the authorities to take the easy way out by banning groups of three to five vaccinated diners at hawker centres and coffee shops.

If there are not enough safe-distancing ambassadors, the authorities should employ more such crew to boost the employment of Singaporeans who are jobless. 

This will benefit vaccinated diners, hawkers and unemployed Singaporeans.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

Related topics

hawker centre coffee shop dining Covid-19 coronavirus

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