Wanted: Safe distancing ambassadors to guide hawker centre patrons

Safe distancing measures in place at the Adam Road Food Centre. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Safe distancing ambassadors are being hired to guide hawker centre patrons towards practising proper safe distancing.

According to online job advertisements seen on the FastJobs and JobsBuddy portals, the roles provide a salary of $2,500 a month, with contract periods of between three and six months. One advertisement describes the role as to “assist (National Environment Agency) in safe distancing measures” at hawker centres islandwide.

The job entails a five-day work week spread over three types of shifts: an 8.30am to 5.30pm day shift; 12pm to 9.30pm night shift; as well as a full-day shift from 8am to 2pm followed by 6pm to 9.30pm.

Duties stated in the postings involve getting hawker centre patrons to:

  • Only sit on unmarked seats

  • Maintain a safe physical distance while queueing at food stalls

  • Choose take-out or food delivery options if seating space is limited

  • Return their trays after their meal

Qualifying requirements for the job include having the minimum of a diploma or Higher Nitec certification; being fluent in English and one’s mother tongue; and having good communications skills.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) clarified that personnel from “various government agencies” have been deployed to ensure businesses “implement and comply with the safe distancing measures” imposed by the government. To do so, safe distancing ambassadors from ESG and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) have been reaching out to malls, retail and F&B establishments.

“Businesses are given 1-2 days to comply with the recommended measures, after which another check will be conducted. If the measures are still not implemented, ESG and SFA will issue an official warning letter to the business owner,” said ESG in its post.

“Following this, a third visit will be made for further checks on compliance,” it added. Businesses found to have violated the Infectious Diseases Act or related regulations may face charges.

Ambassadors don’t issue fines

Separately, a Facebook post by ESG on Friday dispelled a rumour circulating on social media and text messaging apps that one of its safe distancing ambassadors had imposed a fine on a member of the public for sitting on a seat that was marked out as not to be occupied.

“Safe distancing ambassadors are deployed by various government agencies to guide and ensure that businesses implement and comply with the safe distancing measures. They do not impose fines,” said ESG.

Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to the National Environment Agency for more details regarding the job postings.

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