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One week grace period for vaccination-differentiated entry measures at shopping malls to be implemented

One week grace period for vaccination-differentiated entry measures at shopping malls to be implemented
File photo of the Trace Together SafeEntry Gateway. (Photo: Ang Hwee Min)

SINGAPORE: There will be a grace period of one week from Oct 13 for vaccination-differentiated safe management measures at shopping malls to be implemented, said the authorities on Sunday (Oct 10). 

The COVID-19 multi-ministry task force announced on Saturday the expansion of vaccination-differentiated safe management measures to "protect unvaccinated individuals and reduce the strain" on the healthcare system.

With effect on Oct 13, only fully vaccinated people will be allowed to enter shopping malls and large standalone stores that are not supermarkets, said the task force. Large standalone stores are defined as those that have more than 930sqm of gross floor area.

Children aged 12 and below, those who have recovered from COVID-19, and unvaccinated people with a valid negative pre-event test result will also be allowed to enter these premises, said the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) in a joint media statement. 

"We are aware of concerns raised by the public with regard to the need for some unvaccinated individuals to access medical and childcare related services in the malls.

"Provisions will be made to allow for access to these services," said the authorities.

MTI and ESG are "working closely" with mall operators to allow tenants, mall operators, and members of the public to familiarise themselves with the new processes and checks, they said. 

More details will be issued in an advisory before Oct 13, said the authorities. 

"We seek everyone’s support to observe safe management measures and cooperate with the malls as they implement the vaccination-differentiated safe management measures. This will help lower transmission risks and slow down the pace of community infections in this stabilisation phase," the authorities added.

UNVACCINATED INDIVIDUALS CAN STILL TAKE AWAY FOOD

MOH also announced on Saturday that unvaccinated individuals will not be allowed to dine-in at hawker centres and coffee shops from Oct 13. However, they can still take away food. 

Co-chair of the multi-ministry task force Gan Kim Yong said the expanded measures will “further protect those who are not fully vaccinated”.

“There have been a few settings frequently visited by a significant proportion of infected individuals, including those who are unvaccinated, who later on fell very ill. Such settings include (food and beverage) outlets, retail establishments and shopping centres,” he added. 

Safe distancing enforcement officers will conduct "selective" checks on diners' COVID-19 vaccination status when the new rules kick in.

Diners can also provide their TraceTogether token to be scanned for their vaccination status.

Those who breach the vaccination-differentiated measures will be warned and have their particulars recorded, said the National Environment Agency and the Singapore Food Agency.

"Enforcement action will be taken against repeat offenders and those who refuse to cooperate," they added.

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Source: CNA/lk

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