COVID-19: Stay home if you're unwell during Qing Ming peak period, says NEA

·Editorial team
·5-min read
Family members visit the graves of their loved ones to pay their respects and burn offerings at the Choa Chu Kang Chinese Cemetery during the Qing Ming Festival on 4 April, 2013. (Getty Images file photo)
Family members visit the graves of their loved ones to pay their respects and burn offerings at the Choa Chu Kang Chinese cemetery during Qing Ming festival on 4 April, 2013. (Getty Images file photo)

SINGAPORE — In view of the upcoming Qing Ming festival, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is reminding those who are unwell to be socially responsible and stay home during the festival’s peak period.

Qing Ming, when Chinese families traditionally visit the tombs of their ancestors to pay their respects, falls on 4 April. The peak period is expected to last between 21 March and 19 April.

As crowds are expected at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and the government columbaria, NEA reminded members of public to exercise socially responsible behaviour so as to protect their own well-being and the well-being of families and relatives.

“For visitors to our facilities, members of the public are reminded to keep themselves and others around them safe by observing good hygiene habits, such as binning their litter and keeping our shared spaces clean,” said the agency in a media release on Wednesday (11 March).

Crowd control, shuttles provided

MAP: NEA
MAP: NEA

Crowds are expected to peak at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and government columbaria at Mandai, Yishun and Choa Chu Kang on 4 April; when Good Friday falls on 10 April; and the weekends within the period from 21 March to 19 April. Members of the public who wish to avoid the crowds and traffic congestion are encouraged to avoid visiting in the mornings of these peak periods.

The crowds at Choa Chu Kang Columbarium are expected to be larger this year as more next-of-kin are expected to visit, given that niche occupancy at the columbarium has continued to grow.

Information on real-time traffic conditions outside Mandai Columbarium and Choa Chu Kang Columbarium is available at www.nea.gov.sg/qingming2020. Visitors can check the traffic conditions to help plan their trips.

To minimise traffic congestion, visitors are advised to take public transport. Designated drop-off/pick-up points will be set up at Mandai and Choa Chu Kang Cemetery to facilitate visitors taking taxis and private hire vehicles.

And to facilitate visitors to CCK Cemetery and Columbarium, a new shuttle bus service will be provided for $1 per trip between NEA’s Claims & Registration Office (2 Christian Cemetery Path 2) and Choa Chu Kang Columbarium (51 Chinese Cemetery Path 4). The service will run at 15-minute intervals from 7am to 5pm during weekends and Good Friday between 21 March and 19 April 2020

Due to ongoing construction works, some roads and open-air car parks near Mandai Columbarium Blocks B and C will be temporarily closed. To complement existing public bus services, a shuttle bus service will be provided at a fee of $1.40 per trip between Khatib MRT Station (Exit A pick-up point) and the rear entrance of Mandai Columbarium along Mandai Avenue.

From 21 March to 19 April, the shuttle will run at 15-minute intervals from 7am to 5pm during weekends and Good Friday.

Parking arrangements

MAP: NEA
MAP: NEA

Drivers at CCK Cemetery and Columbarium who wish to use the shuttle service may wish to park within the Christian Cemetery, along the left-hand side of the cemetery paths without causing obstruction to other users.

Drivers can also use the car park lots at Car Park A along Jalan Bahar and Car Parks B, C and D along Old Choa Chu Kang Road. Temporary car park lots at Path 9 Chinese Cemetery will be made available during the Qing Ming period.

Alternatively, drivers can park along the left-hand side of the cemetery paths at the burial blocks opposite the Choa Chu Kang Columbarium. Vehicles exceeding 2,500kg of unladen weight are not allowed into the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery during the peak periods.

Drivers to Mandai Columbarium are encouraged to park their vehicles near Khatib MRT station and use the shuttle bus service. The limited lots at the basement carpark of Mandai Crematorium Block will only be opened to those attending cremation services during this period.

Due to high traffic expected at these facilities, pedestrians are reminded to exercise caution at all times, and look after their personal safety and that of other road users when crossing the roads.

Use burners and containers

Religious activities such as burning of joss papers are expected to increase during the Qing Ming festival. Members of the public who observe such practices are reminded to do so in a considerate manner and keep the environment clean.

Members of the public are advised to use burners and containers for the burning of joss paper to minimise flying ashes and keeping the environment clean. They are also encouraged to burn joss paper in small quantities to minimise smoke emission and avoid creating fire hazards such as leaving lighted candles and matches unattended, in view of the ongoing warm and dry weather.

Burners will be made available at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and government columbaria at Mandai, Yishun and Choa Chu Kang during this period. For housing estates, Town Councils will be providing burners and containers for residents’ use.

Members of the public are also reminded not to leave any food offerings and litter after visiting so as to prevent mosquito breeding or rat infestation.

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