Do you know that Joy Luck Teahouse is opening its first outlet that allows dine-in from 14 June 2021? I’m 99% certain they’ve chosen the date for a reason.

But today, people whose birthdays fall on 14 June might be crying as their planned birthday dinners in a fancy restaurant has to be postponed again—as it’s now confirmed that dine-in isn’t going to be allowed immediately when Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) kicks off.

Yes, the next stage is really called Phase 3 (Heightened Alert).

The reopening to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) will come in two stages: one from 14 June and one from 21 June.

Here’s what you need to know about the press conference held by Lawrence Kena-Arrowed Wong, Arrow Ong Ye Kung and Fast Arrow Gan Kim Yong.

What Wouldn’t Change At All (Hopefully…Forever?)

WFH Still Default Arrangement

Rejoice, office workers!

Work-from-home will continue to remain the default arrangement. Employers must ensure that employees who are able to work-from-home do so, continue to stagger start times of employees who need to return to the workplace, and implement flexible working hours. There should continue to be no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites.

What Will Change Completely

Regular Fast and Easy Testing (FET) Regime for Staff Involved in Higher-Risk Mask-Off Activities

As part of the suite of measures to reduce transmission for mask-off activities as we resume more activities, all staff who work at settings with unmasked clients/patrons will be required to be placed on a FET regime, using tests such as antigen rapid test (ART), regardless of their vaccination status. These include staff of:

  1. Dine-in F&B establishments
  2. Personal care and appearance services that require removal of masks (e.g. facial services, saunas, make-up services)
  3. Gyms and fitness studios where clients are unmasked

Mandatory FET testing will be progressively rolled out to larger establishments first and extended to smaller businesses thereafter. For dine-in F&B establishments, the mandatory FET testing will be done progressively, starting from next month. Details of the roll-out will be announced when ready.

Sale of Antigen Rapid Test (ART) Self-Test Kit at Retail Pharmacies

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has granted interim authorisation for four ART self-test kits, and these test kits will be sold by pharmacists in the Guardian, Unity, and Watsons retail pharmacies from 16 June 2021, and will be made available at more retail locations progressively.

To ensure that there are adequate supplies for all, sales will be initially limited to 10 ART kits per person.

If you’d like to know more about antigen test, watch this video to the end:

What Will Change from 14 June 2021:

Social Gathering Increase from 2 to 5

English teachers can now breathe a sigh of relief as their students are finally not going to say that “2 is a group” because come next Monday (14 June), the authorities will increase the current social gathering group size limit from 2 persons to 5 persons, and increase the cap of 2 distinct visitors per household per day to 5 distinct visitors per household per day.

Increased Operating Capacity

If you’ve been to attractions or libraries recently, you’d see fewer people and it’s not because people are not going out, but because the operating capacity has been reduced.

That’s going to change soon.

The operating capacity of attractions, including the two cruise pilots, that have received MTI’s prior approval will be increased from the current capacity of 25% to 50%. Museums and public libraries will also be allowed to operate at an increased operating capacity of 50%.

Increase in the Number of People for Events

Live performances and spectator sports events may resume. Audience sizes for these events will be increased to 250 attendees with Pre-Event Testing (PET). PET will not be required for events with 50 or fewer attendees. Further details for each event type will be released by the respective sector agencies.

Unmasking and singing or playing of wind instruments at live performances remain prohibited and may only resume from 21 June 2021.

In addition, congregational and other worship services may take place with up to 250 attendees with PET. PET will not be required for worship activities with 50 or fewer attendees.

Unmasking and singing or playing of wind instruments at live performances during worship services remain prohibited and may only resume from 21 June 2021. Further details on religious activities will be released by MCCY.

Marriage Solemnisations

Marriage solemnisations in external venues (i.e. not in a place of residence or in the Registry of Marriages/Registry of Muslim Marriages building) may take place with up to 250 attendees (including the wedding couple but excluding solemnisers and vendors) with PET required for all attendees include the wedding couple. For solemnisations involving 50 or fewer attendees, PET is not required.

For marriage solemnisations held in the home, the hosting household will be able to invite up to 5 visitors (excluding members of the hosting household, the solemniser and vendors), or have up to 10 attendees in total (as per the current cap, including all attendees but excluding the solemniser and vendors), whichever is higher. Wedding receptions remain prohibited and may only resume from 21 June 2021.

Personal Services Without Masks Can Resume

Personal care and appearance services which require masks to be removed (e.g. facials, saunas) will be allowed to resume.

What Will Change from 21 June 2021:

Resumption of Dining In at F&B

Ah, this is the one that’ll be discussed by everyone tonight.

Dining in at F&B establishments will be allowed to resume from 21 June 2021. As these are higher-risk settings, F&B establishments are reminded to strictly observe at least 1 metre safe distancing between groups of diners (of no more than five persons) so as to mitigate the risk of transmission between unmasked persons.

Wedding Receptions Will Resume

Wedding receptions will be allowed to resume with up to 100 attendees (including the wedding couple but excluding vendors), with PET required for all attendees. For wedding receptions up to 50 attendees, PET is required only for all members of the wedding party (of up to 20 attendees including the wedding couple).

Live Performances Will Resume

Unmasking and singing/playing of wind instruments for live performances will be allowed, subject to relevant safe management measures which will be released by NAC. As mentioned earlier, singing and playing of wind instruments may also resume for live performances at congregational and worship services.

Gyms, Fitness Studios, and Mask-Off Sports Activities Can Resume

If you think you can finally head to the gym next week, you’d have to wait one more week: these fitness centres can only resume on 21 June 2021.

Gyms and fitness studios may resume indoor mask-off sports activities, with safe distancing of at least 2 metres between persons and at least 3 metres between groups of up to 5 persons. Sports classes (both indoors and outdoors) will be capped at 30 persons (including the instructor) that comprised groups of no more than 5 persons. Class participants may unmask if they are engaging in strenuous activities, although they are strongly encouraged to remain masked where possible to reduce the risk of transmission. SportSG will release further details on this.

In-Person Tuition and Enrichment Classes

Well, kids, too bad.

In-person tuition and enrichment classes for those aged 18 and below will be allowed to resume with enhanced safe management measures, which will be announced by MOE subsequently. Higher-risk arts and culture classes such as singing, and wind instruments will also be allowed to resume. Further details on these classes will be released by NAC.

To know more on why the authorities are still focusing on masks, you might want to watch this video to the end:

In view of the continued closure of various activities until 20 June, the Government will extend the current enhancements to the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) for affected sectors until 20 June. From 21 to 30 June, the affected sectors will receive 10% JSS support.

The Government has also been cushioning the impact of lower taxi and private hire car ridership arising from COVID-19. For taxi and private hire car drivers, the Government will extend the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund for three more months at $300 per month per vehicle for two months, and $150 per month per vehicle for the next one month.

Featured Image: YouTube (CNA)

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