Singapore, 19 October 2021 – From 15 to 17 October 2021, the National Environment Agency (NEA) took enforcement action against 92 individuals, as part of stepped-up enforcement action for breaches of Safe Management Measures (SMMs) at hawker centres.
2 Enforcement against the 92 individuals were for offences such as gathering in groups of more than two, not maintaining a safe distance of at least one metre, and not wearing masks. Masks must be properly worn over the nose and mouth when one is not eating or drinking. The hawker centres included Newton Food Centre, Whampoa Food Centre, Haig Road Market & Food Centre, Golden Mile Food Centre, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, and Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre (refer to the Annex for images of enforcement actions).
3 Surveillance cameras have been set up by NEA at selected centres to complement the physical monitoring of compliance of SMMs.
4 NEA seeks the public’s support to work with Safe Distancing Ambassadors (SDA) and Enforcement Officers (SDEO), who are tasked with ensuring that SMMs are complied with for everyone’s safety. The authorities take a serious view of those who verbally or physically abuse public officers and will press charges in court where warranted.
Vaccinated-Differentiated Safe Management Measures at Hawker Centres
5 Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS) have been extended to hawker centres since 13 October 2021. With VDS, dine-in at hawker centres is limited to fully vaccinated persons, while the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons can only enter to buy take-away food. Children aged 12 years and below who are unvaccinated can continue to dine at hawker centres.
6 NEA has worked closely with Town Councils (TCs) on the implementation. SDAs and personnel from the TCs will continue to remind patrons that only those who are fully vaccinated can dine in. To avoid queues and inconvenience to patrons who may be entering the hawker centre to purchase food for takeaway, checks on vaccination status are not conducted at entry points.
7 NEA and the Hawkers’ Associations have also explained to stallholders that they do not need to check patrons’ vaccination status. Instead, SDEOs will conduct selective checks of patrons who are dining-in. Diners can either show enforcement officers the vaccination ‘green tick’ verification on the TraceTogether (TT) App, or provide their TT token to be scanned to determine the vaccination status.
8 SDEOs have taken an advisory approach from 13 October to 19 October, where unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons found to be dining in were urged to finish up their meal and leave the hawker centre promptly. Thus far, more than 800 diners have been found to infringe the VDS. From 20 October, enforcement actions will be taken against persons found to have breached VDS at the hawker centres. Police assistance will be sought to help manage those who refuse to cooperate with the directions of SDEOs.
9 We continue to encourage seniors to minimise dining activity at hawker centres and opt for takeaway food instead. Where possible, seek help from household members or neighbours to purchase takeaway food on their behalf.
10 Patrons, stallholders and others who enter hawker centres as well as markets are also reminded to observe all SMMs, perform SafeEntry check-in, wear their masks covering the nose and mouth fully when not eating or drinking, and practise good personal hygiene.
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Images of Enforcement Actions at Hawker Centres
Photo 1: Gathering in group of more than two at Tekka Centre
Photo 2: Patron sitting on a cordoned off seat at Whampoa Food Centre
Photo 3: Improper mask-wearing at Tiong Bahru Market