NEA advises patrons to visit markets on weekdays, where crowds are at least 30% lower than the weekends. NEA will also be starting a trial on 4 April 2020 to limit the number of patrons in markets at Serangoon Garden Market
Singapore, 2 April 2020 – In view of the current COVID-19 situation, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will be sending out SG Clean ambassadors and volunteers to guide patrons on maintaining safe distancing at our hawker centres starting from this weekend. In addition, given the still substantial crowds at our markets on weekends, NEA will commence a trial at Serangoon Garden Market on 4 April 2020 to study how crowd management can be conducted in a market setting, where the entry and exit points of the market will be controlled to avoid overcrowding at the market.
2 This move follows the progressive implementation of safe distancing measures at various public places to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to safeguard public health. Since 1 April 2020, alternate seats at the cooked food sections of all hawker centres and floor queue markings at 1,368 popular cooked food stalls have been marked to facilitate safety distancing while dining and queuing at our hawker centres. While the adherence to these measures has improved to about 60%, more patrons need to come onboard, especially at our markets which still see substantial crowds on the weekends. As a community, we need to improve the adherence rate of the safety distancing measures to help safeguard the safety our hawkers and patrons at our hawker centres.
3 As announced on 1 April 2020, queue markings at 83 markets managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators are progressively being put into place. These floor markings are to guide patrons to maintain a safe distance from one another when browsing or making purchases from a stall. Patrons should stand within the boxes marked on the floor, to minimise the crowding of patrons at the front of each stall. To date, 16 markets have such floor markings.
4 As there are significant crowds at our markets during the weekends, members of the public are encouraged to visit on weekdays, when the footfall is at least 30% less as compared to the weekends. Queue boxes have been marked in front of all wet market stalls to guide patrons on where to stand and queue. When visiting markets, NEA urges all members of the public to observe the following advice (see infographic in ANNEX):
- Stagger purchases and visit markets on weekdays as much as possible.
- Avoid visiting the markets only during the weekends, especially between 7:30am-10:00am when there are usually bigger crowds. Go early if you must on weekends, as stalls open as early as 5:00am.
- Avoid crowding around each stall, and maintain a 1 metre separation when waiting to make your purchase.
- Refrain from bringing the elderly and vulnerable persons such as young children to the markets, and especially avoid the weekends.
5 With the trial to limit the number of patrons entering markets, there may be queues and delays at Serangoon Garden Market this weekend, especially during the peak period of 7:30am-10:00am.We seek patrons’ understanding and cooperation with our ground officers in order to keep the visit experience for all patrons pleasant and safe.
6 NEA urges members of public to exercise socially responsible behaviour to protect their own well-being and that of others around them. Patrons who are feeling unwell or are sick should refrain from going to the markets and hawker centres. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and may implement further measures for crowd control, including taking enforcement actions against patrons who intentionally occupy seats in hawker centres or stand in a queue less than 1 metre away from another individual in the queue, particularly when there are floor markings to guide.
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