To reduce crowding and ensure more effective safe distancing, odd or even date entry restriction will be implemented at four popular markets, from 22 April 2020
Singapore, 21 April 2020 – To ensure the safety and well-being of all patrons and stallholders in the markets, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has introduced an additional measure to restrict access to four popular markets managed by the NEA or NEA-appointed operators, namely Geylang Serai Market, Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road (Chong Pang Market), Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane, and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52. From 22 April 2020, patrons’ access to these four markets will be restricted based on the last digit of their National Registration Identification Card (NRIC) or Foreign Identification Number (FIN). Those with an even last digit can only visit these markets on the even dates of the month, and those with an odd last digit can only visit these markets on the odd dates of the month.
Existing crowd management measures at markets
2 As part of enhanced safe distancing, NEA has rolled out crowd management measures, such as controlled entry and exit points, to markets managed by the NEA or NEA-appointed operators since 7 April 2020. Coupled with the deployment of enforcement officers, this has helped to maintain safe distancing at our markets.
3 However, long queues have been observed at certain popular markets, especially during the weekends. To address this, NEA has urged patrons to make further adjustments to their marketing hours by patronising markets during weekdays, or at the non-peak period on weekends, such as after 10:00am where fresh produce is still available. To help patrons plan for their marketing visits, NEA has also published the peak hours and queue situation at 39 popular markets, and provided patrons with a list of alternative markets that are located close to some of the most popular markets.
4 These measures have helped to spread the crowd slightly and market patrons have started to make some adjustments. Based on ground observations from 7 to 19 April 2020, we have observed that more patrons are starting to visit markets during the less crowded hours, between 6:00am to 7:00am or after 10:00am. However, long queues were still seen over the last weekend at four ‘hotspot’ markets, namely Geylang Serai Market, Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road (Chong Pang Market), Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane, and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52.
Targeted action to further safeguard public health
5 To further safeguard public health, NEA will take targeted action to introduce an additional measure to improve crowd management at these ‘hotspot’ markets. From 22 April 2020, patrons’ access to these four markets will be restricted based on the last digit of their National Registration Identification Card (NRIC) or Foreign Identification Number (FIN). Those with an even last digit (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) can only visit these markets on the even dates of the month, and those with an odd last digit (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) can only visit these markets on the odd dates of the month. Patrons will have to produce appropriate forms of identification at the entry points of these markets for verification. Those who are unable to do so will be denied entry.
6 For patrons who require assistance with their marketing, such as the elderly and persons with disability, one other accompanying member in the same household or foreign domestic worker (FDW) is allowed to assist them in their market visits. However, one of their identification numbers (NRIC or FIN) must still meet the odd or even date entry restriction, in order to enter the market. In general, we continue to encourage the elderly to avoid visiting markets, especially during peak hours, and to seek help for their marketing needs.
Patrons are reminded to make further adjustments to their marketing hours
7 Evening out the crowd size at the markets across the day and course of the week is critical in ensuring that safe distancing measures remain effective. Market patrons are reminded to make further adjustments and patronise markets during weekdays, or at the non-peak period after 10:00am on weekends. Weekday market crowd is lower than the weekend. The crowd at markets after 10:00am is also about 50 per cent less than the earlier peak hours, and fresh produce continues to be available in markets till about noon.
8 The health of all depends on each and everyone of us working together. Members of the public are urged to take safe distancing measures at markets and hawker centres seriously, and do our part to help make the current circuit breaker measures a success.
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“Additional Safe Distancing Measures at 4 Markets” visual