Vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) have been in place since early August.
In essence, this forces more individuals to get vaccinated as they will be unable to go about freely around the country. This includes several things we take for granted such as:
- Going to attractions
- Dining-in at hawker centres and coffeeshops
- Entering a shopping mall or large standalone stores
- Participating in sport/exercise activities and classes provided by gyms and fitness studios
Who Is Considered As Part Of The Vaccinated Group?
There are four main groups of people that will be considered vaccinated, or allowed to participate in activities that require VDS. They are:
- Fully vaccinated. Such individuals include those:
- Vaccinated in Singapore
- Vaccinated overseas with full regiment of World Health Organisation (WHO) EUL vaccines
- Recovered from COVID-19 in Singapore and subsequently received 1 dose of WHO EUL vaccine in Singapore
- Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 with first positive PCR test result within 270 days
- Individuals who have valid negative COVID-19 ART or PCR result from an MOH-approved COVID-19 test provider within 24 hours of the stipulated activity
- Children aged 12 and below
In this article we look at 4 businesses that are the “losers” or unintended “losers” of the current vaccination-differentiated safe management measures.
#1 Shopping Malls
Shopping malls have been hard-hit by COVID-19. While their tenants have suffered from slowing business, this would have translated into lower rental income for them.
At the same time, shopping malls have also had to comply with new government measures. The vaccination-differentiated safe management measures are the latest. Staff have to verify vaccination status – which can be in various forms including the TraceTogether app, TraceTogether Token, HealthHub app and physically issued cards. Then, they have to contend with the one-week grace period that the government has announced. There are also exceptions that need to be made for those who can show they require childcare or medical services within the malls.
This requirement to ramp up such measures have also come at a time after malls have been told they could ease off on manpower requirements to conduct temperature screening at entrances.
With some malls unable to implement such measures on short notice, there have been news reports on long waiting times just to enter shopping malls.
#2 Delivery Services
Food delivery and courier services have seen an explosion in demand during COVID-19. With various safe management measures and a preference to limit social interactions, individuals would be ordering food at home and shopping online more often.
Many of the pick-up locations would be in shopping malls. With longer waiting times to enter malls, delivery services may be slowed down.
There would also be instances where delivery drivers and riders are not fully vaccinated. Such individuals would effectively be incapacitated in their work.
#3 Hawker Centres and Coffee Shops
When vaccination-differentiated measures were first announced, hawker centres and coffee shops could only accept up to two diners – unlike other F&B establishments, which could accept up to five diners.
However, also unlike other F&B establishments, they could accept diners of any vaccination status.
With the current tightening of measures, hawker centres and coffee shops now cannot accept diners who are unvaccinated. However, they can allow individuals to take away food.
This means hawker centres and coffeeshops have to ramp up their screening measures at entrances. More difficult to manage, however, is having to keep track of individuals who are supposed to be taking away food only.
#4 Home-Based Business (HBBs) That Require More Than 2 Onsite Employees
The current 100% work-from-home arrangement is only for employees who are able to complete their work remotely. For businesses that require employees to come in for work, they are able to do so.
However, unlike most other businesses, home based businesses are constrained by the two-person per day limit.
Arguably, this could be a small group of businesses only.
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