COVID-19: Lucky Plaza, Peninsula Plaza to start weekend date-entry restrictions amid crowd management issue

SINGAPORE – Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza will soon implement odd and even date-entry restrictions as managers of these malls have been facing persistent challenges in managing crowds and ensuring safe distancing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a virtual multi-ministry task force press conference on Friday (21 August), Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced that the arrangement will be implemented during the weekends from 29 August at both malls.

This means that those whose National Registration Identification Card (NRIC) or Foreign Identification Number (FIN) end in even digits – 0,2,4,6,8 – can only visit the two malls on even dates, while those whose numbers end in odd digits – 1,3,5,7,9 – can only visit on the odd dates.

All visitors will be required to produce appropriate identification at the entrance of these malls for verification and those who are unable to do so will be denied entry.

The measures are similar to those recently applied to more popular markets, such as Geylang Serai Market and Chong Pang Market & Food Centre, said Gan, who is also the taskforce co-chair.

“The multi-ministry taskforce will continue to monitor the situation closely and other premises that face similar crowd management issues may also be required to adopt this entry restriction, if necessary,” he added.

In a joint statement issued by Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on Friday, the agencies pointed out that Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza attract larger crowds and longer queues to enter over a sustained period especially on weekends, compared to other malls.

“Both malls typically reach their maximum occupancy limit by noon on Sundays, and long queues will form at the entrances, which disrupt pedestrian flow and cause large crowds to spill over to the main thoroughfare. Members of the public also congregate outside the malls, further disrupting the pedestrian flow.”

Both the STB and ESG have worked with both malls to improve the flow and demarcation of queues. Neighbouring malls have also dispersed crowds that congregate outside their malls, by cordoning off public seating and stepping up patrols.

Additionally, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press release that as general activity increases, it may not be practicable to maintain a one-metre safe distancing requirement in some specific settings, such as public transport and lifts.

“As more activities resume, lift lobbies have also become increasingly crowded. To reduce the risk of overcrowding in lifts and lift lobbies, we will put in place stringent safe management measures in lifts while exempting them from the 1m safe distancing requirement,” the ministry said. These safe management measures include the wearing of masks, refraining from speaking and using hand sanitisers provided in lifts.

“Lift users should continue to observe safe distancing in lift lobbies,” the MOH said.

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