Dining in during phase 2: Keep masks on when not eating or drinking, says MOH

PHOTO: The Straits Times file

Dining in and meeting friends (capped at five people) is now allowed during phase 2 of Singapore's reopening. 

But the Ministry of Health has warned of the "risk of a resurgence in community transmission", as seen in other countries that are dealing with second waves of infection. 

Hence, safe management measures are still in place as people head out after close to two months of staying in due to the circuit breaker.

Mask to be removed only when eating or drinking

For one, the wearing of a mask is still mandatory, with the exception when you're eating or drinking.

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That said, "masks should not be removed for the whole duration while dining out, but only when actually eating or drinking," said Ministry of Health (MOH) in a response to media queries.

This means that diners must still be donning their masks even while waiting for their food and drinks to be served. 

"When not wearing a mask, individuals should minimise talking or singing to reduce the risk of droplet spread," said MOH.

After eating, masks are to be worn immediately, and they are "not permitted to be removed for the sole purpose of talking to others."

Physical distancing and limiting social interactions

Physical distancing of at least one metre between groups is required, and it should also be measured from the nearest points of each group. 

MOH suggested these measurements to be "from shoulder to shoulder (for groups beside you), from back to back (for groups behind you, facing away from you), or closest edges of their seats (if seated)."

While gatherings of a group of up to five persons without social distancing is allowed, MOH has advised limiting social interactions to only a small and regular group of people.

Said MOH: "There remains a risk of ‘super-spreading’ if an infected person meets with multiple groups of five over the course of a day or week."

READ ALSO: What to expect when restaurants reopen for dine-in from June 19 - if you can even get a reservation 

melissagoh@asiaone.com