Starting today (7 March), coffeeshops in Singapore will have 3 options to enact vaccinated-differentiated safe management measures (VDS).
Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, Amy Kor, said in a Facebook post that this will allow groups of 5 to be able to dine in at their outlets, provided they are fully vaccinated.
Here is her Facebook post in full
Happy to catch up with representatives from various coffeeshops last week to discuss the implementation of the Vaccinated Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS) at their premises. Since this was required from 23 Nov last year, 162 coffeeshops and canteens have successfully implemented the checks for vaccination at their entire premises. We have supported them in implementing VDS at their premises by sharing best practices that can help them address some of their manpower and space constraints.
We have had several dialogues with the coffeeshop operators and have heard their feedback about manpower constraints and operational challenges that some continue to face in order to implement vaccination checks for the entire premises. Due to the porous nature and layout of coffeeshops, it may be more challenging for them to implement VDS in its entirety, as compared to other food establishments.
From 7 Mar 22, coffeeshops and canteens will have the option to implement VDS in 1 of 3 different ways to accommodate groups of up to 5 fully vaccinated persons to dine-in at their premises, without compromising on the safety of diners. Regardless of the options, access controls and systems must remain in place at the entry points of these defined areas/premises during the specified timings, for the purpose of vaccination checks in line with current requirements.
Interested operators must submit a proposal for Singapore Food Agency (SFA)’s endorsement, to ensure that adequate measures have been put in place to safeguard public health. Upon approval, operators are required to display signages and posters to clearly inform diners of the Area and/or Time Bound VDS at their premises. SFA will continue to conduct checks to ensure that VDS requirements are strictly adhered to.
Option 1 – Area Bound VDS: Coffeeshops and canteens can cordon off a specific area, along with implementing access control and vaccination checks at this defined area, for 5 pax dine-in. Beyond this cordoned area, only 2 pax dine-in will be allowed in the area where there are no vaccination checks by a staff.
Option 2 – Time Bound VDS: Coffeeshops and canteens can allow 5 pax dine-in at their entire premises at stipulated timings from 5.00 pm to 10.30 pm daily, if access controls and vaccination status checks are implemented during the specified timing. Outside of this time period, only 2 pax dine-in will be allowed.
Option 3 – Area and Time Bound VDS: Coffeeshops and canteens can adopt both Area and Time specific VDS for 5 pax dine-in, if they cordon off a specific area along with implementing access control and vaccination status checks during the stipulated timings of 5.00 pm to 10.30 pm daily. Beyond the cordoned area and timing, only 2 pax dine-in will be allowed.
These VDS options were developed after rounds of active consultation with operators and associations to explore solutions to resolve manpower and operational issues to conduct vaccination checks. The options will provide flexibility for business operations without compromising diners’ safety and the current VDS requirements.
This flexibility is welcomed by operators who may face difficulties in implementing 5 pax VDS dine-in for the entire coffeeshop. For instance, some operators have shared that the VDS checks are most critical during evening peak hours when more family members may dine-in at the coffeeshop and are also more likely to patronise stalls such as Zi Char and Mookata.
I thank the operators for their hard work, and the diners for their cooperation in ensuring a safe dining experience for all. Let us continue to do our part and keep up our good efforts to keep everyone safe.