Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on VDS for coffeeshops and canteens by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Oral Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS) for coffeeshops and canteens
Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the Ministry will consider to streamline the Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS) for coffeeshops and canteens to simplify these measures; (b) how many proposals have been received by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on the adoption of the new VDS; (c) how long will SFA take to approve the proposals; and (d) how frequently will SFA conduct checks for compliance at approved premises.
Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether the Ministry will consider (i) easing the vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) for dining-in at coffee shops and industrial canteens and (ii) providing financial subsidies to help coffee shops and industrial canteens with compliance costs related to VDS.
1 As part of the further relaxation of Safe Management Measures (SMM) from 29 Mar 2022, coffeeshops and canteens can either choose to accommodate up to 5-pax dine-in without at-entry vaccination-differentiated SMMs (VDS) checks or accommodate up to 10-pax dine-in with at-entry VDS checks.
2 When VDS at coffeeshops and canteens was first introduced in Nov 2021, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) received feedback from operators on their difficulties in implementing at-entry VDS checks. The layouts of some coffeeshops were not amenable to access controls, and the additional manpower would come at additional cost. Operators suggested to implement time and/or area bound VDS at their premises. This was introduced on 7 Mar 2022.
3 Operators who now wish to operate at 10-pax dine-in can continue to choose across any of the VDS options to best suit their operating model. Operators will have to submit their plans to SFA and will receive a response within seven working days.
4 As of 29 Mar 2022, there are 237 coffeeshops and canteens implementing the 10-pax VDS. SFA and Safe Distancing Ambassadors will continue to conduct regular checks at coffeeshops and canteens to ensure that VDS requirements are strictly adhered to.
5 The Government will also be providing a one-off cash support to Small and Medium Enterprises that have been most affected by the COVID-19 restrictions and measures over the past year, including the F&B sector, under the Small Business Recovery Grant.