Queues, more visitors return to 4 popular markets after lifting of COVID-19 entry restrictions: NEA

Queues, more visitors return to 4 popular markets after lifting of COVID-19 entry restrictions: NEA

Geylang Serai Market (3)
Members of the public queue outside Geylang Serai Market on Apr 9, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: Since the lifting of entry restrictions at four popular markets in Geylang Serai, Yishun, Jurong and Marsiling, there have been more visitors and queues are expected to increase, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Monday (Sep 14).

The four markets - Geylang Serai Market, Chong Pang Market, Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52 - had put in place odd/even entry restrictions based on the last digit of visitors' identity card numbers.

After those restrictions were lifted on weekdays from Aug 13, NEA said it observed that the average daily footfall across the four markets increased by between 18 and 40 per cent. 

"With the restriction similarly lifted for weekends from Sep 12, the average daily footfall at these markets over the last weekend has increased by the same range or more, between 25 to 40 per cent, as compared to the weekend before," NEA added.

At Geylang Serai Market, about 160 were in the queue during the morning peak hour last weekend, said NEA, adding that it took about 30 minutes for them to enter the market.

"Moderate queues" remain at Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane, while "short queues" have returned to Chong Pang Market and the market at Block 505 Jurong West Street 52, said the agency.

"Overall, the weekend queue situation outside the markets remains manageable over the last weekend, although close monitoring would be needed as we expect the queues to increase further over the next few weekends," added NEA.

Capacity caps on the number of patrons inside the markets is needed to ensure safe distancing, said NEA. 

"While it is easier for patrons to observe a safe distance of one metre between one another when queuing to enter these markets, it is harder for them to do so inside the markets due to the dynamic crowd situation and layout of the market," it said.

"We seek the understanding of members of the public and stallholders that a calibrated approach is necessary for us to strike a balance between resuming activities in the market, and safeguarding the safety and well-being of all patrons and stallholders in the markets."

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Source: CNA/ic(gs)

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