COVID-19: Entry into 4 wet markets limited to alternate dates based on NRIC/FIN – NEA

SINGAPORE – The government will further limit entry into four wet markets as part of tightening of current restrictions during the ongoing circuit breaker period.

In a coronavirus multi-ministry taskforce live virtual press conference on Tuesday (21 April), co-chair Lawrence Wong said that members of the public can only enter certain wet markets on alternate dates.

“We will do this with a system based on your NRIC or your FIN number, depending on the last digit of the NRIC or FIN number, you will only be permitted entry on odd or even days (of the month),” said Wong.

The Minister for National Development added that the government will also take the same approach for “other popular areas like supermarkets” in order to manage the crowds and reduce transmission risk.

The government will also be cutting back on essential services, including F&B services, with a view to cut the workforce who commute daily from the current 20 per cent to 15 per cent.

These limits are important because “when we analysed the local infected cases that occurred after the circuit breaker, many of them have been working as part of essential services, or have family members who are working”.

Wong added, “We appreciate your contributions, but we have to reduce the numbers who are working.”

The stricter measures will last until 4 May, when the first round of circuit breaker ends, said Wong. The government will consider adjusting the measures as the country enters its second round of circuit breaker measures, which will last until 1 June.

The extension of the circuit breaker measures until 1 June was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a live address on Tuesday.

The government also advised individuals who leave their houses for essential services to do so alone.

“The best way to beat the virus is to stay home. So if you need to go out, to buy food to buy groceries, go out alone. Don't turn this into an occasion for a family outing,” said Wong.

“And if you need to go out to exercise, exercise alone and in your own neighbourhood, don't travel out to exercise.”

Limited access to 4 wet markets

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a media statement that it will restrict access to four popular markets managed by the NEA or NEA-appointed operators: 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 NEA noted that long queues were still seen at these markets over the last weekend.

From Wednesday, 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 and those who are unable to do so will be denied entry.

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