SINGAPORE — Seating arrangements at hawker centres will be changed, as Singapore prepares to enter Phase 2 of its reopening after the COVID-19 circuit breaker period.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a media release on Tuesday (16 June) that dine-ins will resume at the cooked food sections of all its 114 hawker centres from Friday.
There will be two key changes to seating arrangements. First, operators will be marking out seats and tables for dining groups of different sizes – between one and five persons. Patrons should continue to sit only at unmarked seats or tables when dining in at the hawker centres.
Second, certain tables may be closed or have additional seats marked, in order to facilitate safe distancing between dining groups.
NEA has assured the public that, even with some seats and tables marked out, overall seating capacity will generally be higher in Phase 2 than during the pre-circuit breaker period.
Similar to the current practice, the public should still maintain safe distancing of at least one metre at all times when queueing to make cooked food purchases or while waiting for their orders.
Continue to wear masks, except when eating or drinking
All hawker centre patrons are reminded to continue wearing their masks, except when they are eating or drinking. Patrons should also check in and out on every visit to the markets and hawker centres using SafeEntry QR codes which have been put up at the centres.
NEA is reminding patrons to keep the hawker centre tables clean for the next diner by returning their trays and used crockery or cutlery.
In particular, diners should dispose of their used tissues/wipes in a proper manner, either by binning them or bringing them together with their trays and used crockery/cutlery to designated tray return points.
Automatic hand sanitiser dispensers to be installed
NEA will be installing automated hand sanitiser dispensers at all 114 hawker centres and markets, with the number of dispensers at each centre depending on the centre’s size and layout.
The dispensers will be installed near the entrances, exits and lift lobbies of each centre. Where possible, some dispensers may be placed near to tray return racks, so that patrons can sanitise their hands after returning their trays, should there be a queue at the hand wash basin.
Enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures implemented before the circuit breaker period will continue at all hawker centres and markets.
These include increasing the cleaning frequency of toilets and frequently-touched areas such as table tops, seats, lifts and hand rails. Cleaners will wear gloves when clearing tables and used crockeries/utensils. There should also be adequate supply of toilet paper and soap in the toilets.
Access to popular markets still restricted
Meanwhile, access to the four popular markets – Geylang Serai, Chong Pang, 20/21 Marsiling Lane and 505 Jurong West Street 52 – will continue to be restricted based on the last digit of the patrons’ NRIC or Foreign Identification Number.
Similarly, patrons to all 83 markets managed by NEA and NEA-appointed operators should also continue to stand within the boxes marked on the floor, to minimise crowding and maintain safe distancing when making their purchases at the market stalls.
Safe-distancing enforcement officers and ambassadors will continue to be deployed at hawker centres and markets to ensure compliance with safe management measures. Those who are unwell or are sick should refrain from going to the markets and hawker centres.
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