Singapore has finally announced it'll be moving into Phase 2 from 19 June onwards - which is this Friday! ? Needless to say, this is a moment many of us have been waiting for as we can now dine-in at our favourite eateries, visit our friends and family in larger groups, or go out in small groups to simply hang out. However as the announcement only came out on Monday night (15 Jun) it's felt a little abrupt too, leaving us with questions about whether it's safe or alright to even go out right now. ? If you're feeling uncertain, don't worry! We've broken down the pros and cons of dining in, takeaway, and delivery so you can make a choice once Phase 2 starts.
- What we've been waiting for after weeks of staying at home! ?
- Nothing can beat catching up with loved ones in person
- We've missed just chilling out and enjoying the ambience of a cafe
- Vulnerable groups are still advised to avoid going out if possible - just because we can go out doesn't mean the virus has gone away!
- Groups are limited to just 5 people for now - big gatherings are still not possible
- With health and safety measures in place (e.g. logging of details, more frequent sanitising of surfaces), you might expect longer waiting or eating times
- Operators are supposed to prevent long lines from forming - you might not get to eat at your first choice if there's a long queue
- Not all eateries are open for in-house dining immediately so you may have to wait for a while until your favourite cafe is up and running again anyway
Verdict: Not suitable for mid-day lunches or if you're in a time crunch, but great for weekend catch-ups. If you're not feeling well or are immunovulnerable, you're still advised to stay home as the virus has not gone away yet. While we may have been waiting for Phase 2 to start, there's really no rush to dine-in immediately. ? It's always safer to be more cautious and wait for things to settle - you'll still get to see your loved ones soon in the future!
- Many of us are now used to this flexible option after Circuit Breaker and Phase 1 ?
- Almost every eatery out there has takeaway available so you definitely have the most choices
- If you can pre-order or arrive before a queue forms you might be able to get your food faster
- With eateries having to juggle dine-in, delivery, and takeaway, it's possible that orders may be prioritised differently causing longer waiting times
- Time taken for social distancing measures like scanning QR codes to enter a mall can all add up - a 10 minute trip may end up taking 30 minutes or longer ?
- If you have any mobility issues or are immunovulnerable, waiting outside a store for your food can be a health risk
Verdict: Good for escaping the house 1-2 times a week, but not if you have urgent matters to attend to. Takeaway is a good way to give yourself some fresh air and a temporary change of scenery without staying in one place for too long. Do remember to wear a mask while 'dabao-ing' your food, request for contactless payment if possible, and bring along personal ID or your mobile device to scan the SafeEntry QR codes when entering a mall or shop! Social distancing measures still apply, especially as you might see more crowds once Phase 2 starts.
- We're now used to ordering delivery too ?
- Most eateries have delivery on some sort of platform or app
- The fastest option if you pre-order your food and set a time and date for delivery
- With more extended family members able to visit now, mini gatherings at your grandparents' house are totally doable! (Of course, keeping in mind the health and safety of seniors or vulnerable members of the family)
- The most convenient option if you have mobility or immunity issues and can't go out to takeaway or dine-in easily
- A Zoom dinner can't beat actually seeing our favourite friends and family in person!
- Sometimes unexpected delays or cancellations can happen (e.g. bad weather, traffic conditions)
- Sustainability-wise, lots of excess plastic is generated ?
Verdict: The best option for a spontaneous and convenient meal, or if you have vulnerable individuals at home. Thanks to relaxed measures during Phase 2, we can also have slightly bigger family gatherings as households will be able to have up to 5 visitors at a time! ? Of course, we should practise responsible social distancing even while ordering delivery, such as requesting contactless delivery, avoiding visiting vulnerable family members or friends while sick, and sticking to the maximum number of guests at a time.
The bottom line is that there really isn't any need to go out and meet your friends this weekend - or even next weekend! While measures will be more relaxed from now on, and it's nice to know we can go out on the weekends now, it's still up to us to be socially responsible whether we're going out or staying in. Whether you decide to pay your relatives a belated Hari Raya visit or just chill at home, just remember to be responsible, wear a mask, and take proper precautions for your health and the health of those around you. ?