SINGAPORE — The odd-or-even date entry restriction at four popular markets during the COVID-19 circuit breaker period has resulted in better crowd management, with shorter or no queues observed outside the markets, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).
In a media release on Saturday (30 May), NEA said that on average, apart from the week leading up to Hari Raya Puasa, the queue time at the four markets – Geylang Serai, Chong Pang, 20/21 Marsiling Lane and 505 Jurong West Street 52 – was no more than 20 minutes, with no queue observed at the markets on some days.
Adherence to the date entry restriction has also improved, with almost all patrons producing their identification cards or documents when visiting the four markets.
NEA said that during the initial period of implementation in April, about 400 patrons were denied entry daily for failing to adhere with the entry restrictions. This has since been reduced by half, with an average of about 200 patrons being turned away daily in May.
Short or no queues at other markets
NEA added that crowd management measures at the other 35 markets, such as controlled entry and exit points, have been effective.
“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,” it said in the media release. “At the other half of the 35 markets, there was no queue spotted on most days.
“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.”
The number of cases of the public not complying with with safe distancing measures and wearing of masks at or near markets and hawker centres has also 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.
The odd-or-even date entry restriction implemented at the four markets will continue when Singapore enters Phase 1 of the post-circuit breaker period after 1 June.
NEA has partnered the Urban Redevelopment Authority and GovTech to include crowd level information for these markets in the Space Out app. 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.
2 months’ rental waiver to stallholders
As part of the Fortitude Budget announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday, NEA will provide two additional months of rental waiver to all stallholders in hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators.
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 markets and hawker centres.
As dining-in at hawker centres will continue to be disallowed in Phase 1 of the post-circuit breaker period, 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.
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