Families visiting cemeteries, columbaria during Qing Ming period limited to 8 per group

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4-min read
Chua Chu Kang Cemetery during the Qing Ming Festival in Singapore.
Chua Chu Kang Cemetery during the Qing Ming Festival in Singapore. (PHOTO: Maverick Asio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Families visiting Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and government-managed columbaria during the Qing Ming period from 20 March to 18 April will have to limit their group size to not more than eight, with a maximum of two members per household.

This is part of stricter crowd control measures to limit crowds amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic announced by the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a media release on Friday (5 March).

Besides the family size limit, NEA also urges the public to exercise socially responsible behaviour. For instance, those feeling unwell or are sick should stay at home, see a doctor and avoid the visits.

Visitors to the cemetery and columbaria are requested to:

  • Not bring elderly family members and young children;

  • Not eat and drink, or prolong their stay at the facilities;

  • Avoid crowding around the prayer and joss paper burning areas at the columbaria;

  • Keep a safe distance of at least 1 metre from other visitors, and wear a mask at all times;

  • Carpool and register their vehicles if they intend to drive and park at Mandai Columbarium on peak days.

Opening hours, crowd control, joss-paper collection

To cater for the anticipated increase in visitors during the annual Qing Ming period, NEA will extend the opening hours for government-managed columbaria (Choa Chu Kang, Mandai and Yishun Columbaria) to 24 hours daily, with effect from 20 March until 18 April.

Safe-distancing ambassadors will be deployed for crowd control, and traffic management arrangements will be put in place to help ease expected congestion.

NEA will set up joss-paper collection booths to provide the collection and burning of joss paper service on selected days. Visitors are reminded not to give red packets to staff working at the collection booths and within the government columbaria and cemetery.

E-appointment booking system during peak days

Crowds are expected to peak at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and government-managed columbaria during the Qing Ming festival (4 April); Good Friday (2 April); and at the weekends within the period from 20 March to 18 April.

Members of the public who wish to avoid crowd and traffic congestion are encouraged to avoid visiting during these periods.

To improve the traffic flow within Mandai Columbarium, NEA will implement an e-appointment booking system for visitors driving to the columbarium during these peak days: 20, 21, 27 and 28 March, as well as 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 April.

Appointment slots will be released two weeks before the peak days, starting on Saturday (6 March), and visitors who wish to drive or carpool to Mandai Columbarium are advised to book an appointment early.

The key details are as follow:

  • For visitors taking public transport, appointment booking is not required.

  • For visitors driving to Mandai Columbarium during peak days, only vehicles registered with valid e-appointments will be allowed to enter and park at the premises. Non-registered vehicles intending to drop off passengers may use the designated drop-off/pick-up point near the pedestrian gate along Mandai Avenue.

  • Vehicles that arrive outside the appointment time may be denied entry. Visitors with valid vehicle appointments will be required to show the confirmation email or SMS upon entry.

Information on real-time traffic conditions outside Mandai Columbarium and Choa Chu Kang Columbarium are available at the NEA website.

Shuttle services during peak days

To minimise traffic congestion, visitors are advised to take the shuttle buses provided during peak days.

For the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and Columbarium Complex, a shuttle bus service will be provided at a fee of $1 per trip, between NEA’s Claims & Registration Office (2 Christian Cemetery Path 2) and Choa Chu Kang Columbarium (51 Chinese Cemetery Path 4), at 15-minute intervals from 7am to 5pm on these dates: 20, 21, 27 and 28 March, as well as 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 April.

For the Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex, a similar shuttle bus service will be provided at a fee of $1 per trip, between Khatib MRT Station (Exit A pick-up point) and the rear entrance of Mandai Columbarium along Mandai Avenue. The dates and shuttle intervals are the same as the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery shuttle service.

INFOGRAPHIC: National Environment Agency
INFOGRAPHIC: National Environment Agency

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