facebookCOVID-19 CNY Rules For Visiting And Dining Out: Dos & Don'ts to Avoid Getting Fined
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COVID-19 CNY Rules For Visiting And Dining Out: Dos & Don'ts to Avoid Getting Fined

profileJoel Koh
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Despite entering Phase 3 of reopening, the past few weeks have reminded us that the war against COVID-19 is not over.

Source: Muyloco | Giphy

As of 12pm on Monday (25 Jan 2020), there were 44 new imported COVID-19 cases with no cases reported in the community.

In addition, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the community went up from eight cases in the week before to 15 cases last week.

As a result, new COVID-19 restrictions and safe management measures were announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (22 Jan) to stem the spread of the virus during this festive period.

This would mean a quieter Chinese New Year (CNY) this year. But if we do our part and comply, we will see things going back to normal sooner rather than later, as the COVID-19 vaccine gets rolled out in Singapore.

As such, here are the Dos and Don’ts you need to take note of when celebrating CNY this year.

This will also help you avoid having to give an Angbao back to the Government in terms of a fine.


TL;DR: COVID-19 Chinese New Year Rules Guide

Do save this article if you find it helpful!


CNY 2021 Visiting Guidelines

Thankfully, we are still allowed to visit each other during Chinese New Year this year.

But, festivities will have to be dialled back.

Here are the dos and don’ts you should adhere to according to MOH.

Dos

1. Keep Your Mask on

I think that by now, most of us would have gotten used to wearing a mask as soon as we step out of our houses.

Source: Makerly Singapore

But nonetheless, here is a reminder to keep your mask on at all times except for where you are either eating, drinking or engaging in strenuous exercise.

When eating or drinking, we should also avoid walking around in public places so as to reduce the risk of transmission.

2. Bring Your TraceTogether Token or Download The Trace Together App

This one is optional, but you are encouraged to bring along your TraceTogether token or turn on your TraceTogether app when visiting your friends and relatives.

This will help contract tracers in the event that a community cluster breaks out.

Don’ts

1. Do Not Have More Than Eight Visitors to Your House in a Day

From tomorrow (26 Jan 2021) onwards, the maximum number of visitors you can have over at your household will be capped.

Each household will only be allowed to welcome eight visitors per household per day after you have done your spring cleaning.

However, if you still want to bless your relatives with a red packet, you can always give them an e-Angbao.

Also, for social gatherings outside the house, groups of more than eight people are still not permitted.

2. Do Not Visit More Than Two Households a Day

Also, MOH is encouraging us to avoid visiting more than two households a day.

If there is not enough time for you to visit all your relatives, you could meet digitally over video conferencing apps like Zoom (Nasdaq: ZM) as well.

CNY 2021 Dining Out Guidelines

If you are looking to dine out during the CNY festive period this year, here is what you should take note of.

P.S. Check out our guide to CNY restaurant set menus and promotions for family reunion dinners if you haven’t booked a place.

Dos

1. Keep Your Mask at All Times Including During Lo Hei

As mentioned above.

In addition, you should keep your mask on when tossing yusheng during Lo Hei.

Source: Our Grandfather Story | Giphy

This is in accordance with the current safety management rules on wearing a mask when you are not eating or drinking.

2. Keep The Volume Down When Dining Out And During Lo Hei

When you are doing the ‘Lo Hei’, you should not be saying out any of the Lo Hei auspicious phrases.

In addition, when dining out, you should keep your voices down to reduce the risk of transmission.

Don’ts

1. Do Not Book Multiple Tables at Restaurants For Your Extended Family

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to have reunion dinner with your extended family at food and beverage (F&B) establishments this year if your clan of relatives has more than eight people.

This is because multiple bookings at F&B establishments are not allowed unless your bookings are for people from the same household.

Also, inter-mingling across tables is still not allowed.

2. Do Not Hold CNY Company Events

As working from home should be the default arrangement for companies, there should not be gatherings or activates such as Lo Hei or meals.

This may dampen the festive cheer at work but you should not be organising or going for such activities as they are not considered work-related events.

COVID-19 Penalties

What are the consequences you might ask?

If caught breaking these rules you will have to face the music.

Source: Giphy

Here are the penalties for flouting COVID-19 safe management measures:

  • First-time offenders will be fined $300.
  • Second-time offenders will be slapped with a $1,000 fine or prosecuted in court for more serious cases.

In addition, the Government will be stepping up enforcement efforts during the CNY period by increasing the number of checks at Food and Beverage places, shopping centres and other popular public spots.

They will not hesitate to take action against business operators or people who flout the rules.

According to EnterpriseSG:

Businesses that do not implement or comply with the government’s requirements on Safe Management Measures may be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance, and may also be subject to temporary closures.

Also, under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act passed in Parliament on 7 April 2020, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Subsequent offences may face a fine of up to S$20,000, imprisonment of up to twelve months, or both.

So do cooperate with the business as there are serious consequences for them which would affect the livelihood of their works.

At the end of the day, these measures are not implemented without a reason.

Complying with these measures will help keep transmission rates low and prevent big COVID-19 clusters from forming.

This may result in the need for heightened safe management measures.

I’m sure you don’t want another Circuit Breaker again.

Stay safe everyone!

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About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. My time as a history student has equipped me with the skills to evaluate the impact societal development has on financial and nonfinancial events.
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