COVID-19 entry restrictions at 4 popular markets to be eased on weekdays

COVID-19 entry restrictions at 4 popular markets to be eased on weekdays

SG Clean Ambassador sharing NRIC rules Geylang Serai Market 2
An SG Clean Ambassador sharing about new crowd control measures at Geylang Serai Market with a shopper on Apr 23, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo) 

SINGAPORE: From Thursday (Aug 13), those visiting four popular markets in Geylang, Yishun, Marsiling and Jurong on weekdays will no longer have their entry restricted based on the last digit of their identification card numbers, under an easing of COVID-19 measures.

As activities gradually resume under Phase 2 of Singapore's post-"circuit breaker" reopening, identification card-based entry restrictions will be lifted at the four most popular markets, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a news release on Tuesday.

The markets are: Geylang Serai Market, Chong Pang Market at Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road, Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52.

READ: Visits to 4 popular markets to be restricted based on patrons' IC numbers: NEA

Restricted entry based on identification card numbers had been rolled out to these locations in April due to long queues forming outside when the markets reached their allowed capacity.

Under the rules, those whose last digit on their ID card is an even number could only visit these markets on the even dates of the month. Those whose last digit is an odd number could only visit these markets on the odd dates of the month. 

"NEA has been closely monitoring the situation at the four popular markets for the past three months," said the agency. "We have observed that the odd/even date entry restriction has been effective in significantly reducing the queues outside the four markets."

While the queue situation varies across the four markets, there are generally small or no queues observed outside them on weekdays, said the agency.

However queues can still be seen on certain weekends outside some of these markets, with the crowd generally "about 20 to 40 per cent more" on weekends as compared to weekdays, said NEA.

As these queues are “manageable” on weekdays, the agency said it would lift the odd/even date entry restrictions for the four markets on weekdays starting from Thursday.

However, safe distancing will still be in place and the identification card-based entry restrictions will still apply during the weekends.

“Safe distancing within the market will not be compromised as the access control system which caps the number of patrons who can be inside the market at any one time will still be in place," said the agency.

“By lifting the odd/even date entry restriction on weekdays, we hope that more patrons will also visit these popular markets on a weekday instead of a weekend.”

NEA urged people to visit markets on weekdays wherever possible, or during the non-peak period between 10am to 12pm on weekends to minimise crowding and ensure effective safe distancing.

Singapore on Tuesday reported 61 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest number of daily cases since Apr 2. Tuesday's cases bring the total number of infections in the country to 55,353.

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Source: CNA/aa(nc)

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