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Updates On The Crowd Situation At Markets And Further Support For Stallholders

30 May 2020

Since the start of Circuit Breaker measures, the crowd situation inside and outside markets has eased, especially at the four popular markets with odd or even date entry restriction. To help stallholders with their operating costs, they will continue to enjoy rental waiver till August this year, and an additional month of table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing subsidy.

Singapore, 30 May 2020 – As part of the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) ongoing assistance to our stallholders during the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) period, we will provide an additional two months of rental waiver to all stallholders in hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators. This brings the rental waivers to a total of five months. NEA will also continue to subsidise table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services for an additional month in June. To support the phased approach to Safe Re-opening in Phase One from 2 June 2020, the odd or even date entry restriction at the four popular markets will continue. The crowd situation, both inside and outside these four markets, has eased significantly over the last five weeks. The average daily entry rejection at the four popular markets has reduced by half to a low 2 per cent, and patrons can now refer to Space Out to plan their market visits for a more pleasant marketing experience.

Improved crowd situation and higher adherence to safe distancing measures

2          As part of enhanced safe distancing measures, NEA and relevant Town Councils have been enforcing the odd or even date entry restriction at four popular markets since 24 April 2020 – at Geylang Serai Market, Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road (Chong Pang Market), Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane, and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52. The entry restriction has resulted in better crowd management at these popular markets, with shorter or no queues observed outside the markets. On average, apart from the week leading up to Hari Raya Puasa, the queue time at these markets was no more than 20 minutes, with no queue observed at the markets on some days.

3          Adherence to the odd or even date entry restriction has also improved, with almost all patrons producing their National Registration Identification Card (NRIC) or Foreign Identification Number (FIN) documentation when visiting the four markets. During the initial period of implementation in April, about 400 patrons failed to adhere with the entry restriction and were denied entry to these markets. This has since reduced by half, with an average of about 200 patrons being turned away daily for failing to adhere to the entry restriction in May. This constitutes a drop from about four per cent to two per cent of patrons visiting these markets from 7:00am to 12:00pm.

4          Crowd management measures, such as controlled entry and exit points, were also rolled out to 35 other markets since 7 April 2020. Over the past seven weeks, while about half of these markets generally have some queues outside, most of the queue times are 10 minutes or less. At the other half of the 35 markets, there was no queue spotted on most days. This suggests that safe distancing measures can be effectively maintained, without having to control the number of patrons, at about half of these 35 markets. We are closely monitoring the ground situation, and may remove the interim fencing and access control at some of these markets, if the crowd situation remains under control.

5          Also, more members of the public are adhering to safe distancing measures and wearing of masks at or near markets and hawker centres. The number of cases of non-compliance with safe distancing measures and wearing of masks at or near markets and hawker centres has decreased significantly, from an average of eight fines issued in a day in April to an average of one fine issued in a day in May.     

Patrons can use Space Out for crowd information and should continue to avoid visiting markets at peak hours   

6          While we have seen progress in safe distancing and crowd management at our markets, we cannot afford to be complacent and must continue to ensure safe management as we move into Safe Re-opening in Phase One from 2 June 2020. The odd or even date entry restriction implemented at the four popular markets will continue. To help patrons better plan their visits and have a more pleasant marketing experience, NEA partnered the Urban Redevelopment Authority and GovTech to include crowd level information for these markets in Space Out ( When the number of patrons in these markets has reached the allowable capacity, patrons will be able to view the length of the queue waiting to enter these markets. Through this platform, patrons will be able to make a more informed decision when they plan their visits to these markets.

7          To minimise crowding, we continue to urge patrons to avoid loitering at the markets and leave the markets promptly when they are done with their marketing. Patrons who need to visit the markets should visit them on a weekday or at the non-peak period on weekends.  The latter is generally between 10:00am to12:00pm where the crowd is about 50 per cent less than the early morning, and fresh produce continues to be available till about noon.

Further support for our stallholders

8          As part of ongoing support and assistance to our stallholders with their cashflow amidst the current situation, NEA will provide two additional months of rental waiver to all stallholders in hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators. The additional two-month rental waiver is part of the Fortitude Budget which was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on 26 May 2020. In total, stallholders will enjoy five months' worth of rental waiver – 50 per cent in March, full rental waiver from April to July, and a 50 per cent rental waiver in August, with a minimum waiver of $200 per month. This will benefit 14,000 stallholders in our markets and hawker centres. 

9          In addition, as dining-in at F&B establishments (including hawker centres) will continue to be disallowed after the Circuit Breaker ends from 2 June 2020, NEA will continue to subsidise table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing fees for another month in June, which will benefit more than 6,000 cooked food stallholders.

10         Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources Dr Amy Khor said, “Through the additional rental waiver, and the extension of the subsidy for table-cleaning fees and centralised dishwashing services, we hope to alleviate our stallholders’ operating costs during this challenging period. We will continue to monitor the situation closely. We encourage members of the public to continue to support our hawkers through food deliveries or take-outs. When opting for take-outs, do bring your own clean container as this will reduce the use of disposable packaging. Please also continue to adhere to safe distancing measures when visiting hawker centres and markets.”   

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