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.