In view of stricter safe distancing measures, floor markings will serve to guide patrons to maintain a safe distance when making purchases from a market stall
Singapore, 1 April 2020 – In view of the current COVID-19 situation and stricter safe distancing measures at various public venues to safeguard public health, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Town Councils are progressively putting in place queue markings, some in the form of red boxes (see ANNEX A), at 83 markets managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators. This follows similar efforts over the past two weeks to mark out alternate seats at 107 hawker centres with cooked food sections, as well as floor queue markings at some 1,364 popular stalls at these 107 centres, to facilitate safe distancing. Over the past one week, NEA has observed that the average adherence rate by patrons to these markings has risen from about 15-20% to around 60%.
2 While markets are a naturally ventilated environment where crowd interactions are fairly transient, patrons are still encouraged to maintain safe distancing, especially when taking turns to make their purchases. To facilitate this, floor markings will be drawn to guide patrons to maintain a safe distance from one another when making purchases from a stall. Patrons are advised to stand within the boxes marked on the floor, which will help minimise crowding by limiting the number of patrons at each stall at any one time.
3 NEA urges members of public to exercise socially responsible behaviour to protect their own well-being and that of others around them. Those who feel unwell or are sick should avoid visiting markets or hawker centres. Patrons should also note the following, when visiting markets (see ANNEX B):
- Consider staggering purchases throughout the week, and avoid visiting the markets only at the weekends when there are usually bigger crowds
- Refrain from bringing the elderly and vulnerable persons such as young children to the markets, and especially avoid the weekends
- Avoid crowding around each stall, and maintain a 1 metre separation when waiting to make your purchase
- Minimise time spent at the markets and leave once purchases are completed
4 NEA will continue to monitor the situation closely, and may implement further measures for crowd control. To safeguard public health, and ensure a safe and positive environment for all, patrons are strongly encouraged to make small adjustments to their routine, and to visit markets during weekdays or non-peak periods instead of planning their regular weekend visits. When at the markets, patrons are reminded to keep themselves and others around them safe by observing good hygiene habits, such as using tissue when coughing or sneezing, binning all litter, and washing hands regularly with soap.
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Example of floor markings at a market
Safe distancing measures at markets