Singapore reopens bars and restaurants

Singapore has entered phase two of its social distancing measures today, meaning restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen for the first time since their compulsory closure in March.

Singapore’s ‘circuit breaker’ measures comprise a three-phase plan for gradual re-opening. After more than two months of lockdown, it entered phase two – the safe transition period – on 19 June, after which Singaporeans are allowed to dine out in restaurants and bars, and regain some sort of social life.

Most restaurants and bars are reopening today. Under the phase two regulations, customers must receive mandatory temperature checks and contact tracing procedures when visiting the venues. Each table can only serve groups of five people, and there should be a one-metre space between the tables. Shows or live music performances are still banned in this stage. Liquor sales and consumption have to stop by 10:30pm.

The news has not only been welcomed by customers, but also restaurants and bars, which have been relying on delivery services to sustain business during the lockdown period. According to the latest figures released by the Singapore Department of Statistics on 5 June 2020, total F&B sales dropped 53% in April this year, compared to the same period in 2019. The restaurant industry had a steep year-on-year fall of 66.9%.

As of 19 June, Singapore has recorded 41,473 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 26 deaths.

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