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Singapore – More people here are moving to get vaccinated since Saturday’s announcement that the unvaccinated will no longer be able to dine in at F&B establishments, including hawker centres.
This announcement coupled with the welcome news of the opening of travel lanes for people who are fully vaccinated has prompted a noticeable jump in Singaporeans and other residents registering and turning up for vaccinations and booster shots, say clinics and vaccination centres.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) also announced on Saturday (Oct 9) that starting from Oct 13 unvaccinated individuals will not be allowed into shopping malls, large standalone stores, and attractions, and can only do takeout from hawker centres, coffee shops, which had not been off limits for dine-in before.
This now means that unvaccinated individuals will be excluded from dining in at all food & beverage establishments.
Such measures were implemented amid spikes in Covid-19 community cases.
At the same time, the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) plan was enacted, allowing fully vaccinated individuals to travel to a selection of countries.
Beginning Oct 19, vaccinated individuals can fly to Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and the United States, with South Korea being added to the list from Nov 15.
Travel to Singapore will also be easier under VTL as individuals will need only two instead of four Covid-19 swab tests in order to enter the country.
Reacting to the news, some people who had been uncertain or anxious about getting vaccinated before have chosen to get jabbed. They include those who have diabetes and other conditions that made them hesitate to get the jabs.
“I was worried that taking the shot will lead to side effects, but my family and friends who are vaccinated encouraged me. I also like sitting at hawker centres for lunch, but the new rules mean I can’t,” Boon Lay resident Josle Johari told The Straits Times.
“The only reason I decided to get it was because I want to be able to travel without quarantine; I haven’t seen my family in two years,” said another individual.
The news has also provoked an angry backlash from others and prompted the launch of a petition protesting the new measures.
On Saturday, “a very angry and oppressed Singaporean” started a petition to allow unvaccinated individuals to enter malls in Singapore. It claimed that vaccinated individuals have as great, if not greater viral loads than the unvaccinated.
“How can unvaxxed people be denied of important, including essential goods and services for themselves and their families?” it asked. The petition has garnered at least 5,960 signatures.
This protest petition provoked another, insisting that unvaccinated people should be denied entry into malls.
“Unvaccinated (by choice) are a danger to themselves and the elderly/immune-compromised individuals,” the counter-petition noted.
“Going to the Mall is NOT a basic right. You can get healthcare from non-mall clinics, groceries from non-Mall supermarkets and basically anything online.” /TISG