COVID-19: Singaporeans urged to defer non-essential trips to malls

COVID-19: Singaporeans urged to defer non-essential trips to malls

Authorities are urging those in Singapore to defer non-essential trips to malls, after safe-distancing measures kicked in across the country. Kelly Wong reports.

SINGAPORE: Authorities are urging those in Singapore to defer non-essential trips to malls, after safe-distancing measures kicked in across the country.

In a WhatsApp message sent by Gov.sg on Saturday (Mar 28), authorities advised people to stay home and only head to a mall for essentials, such as food, adding that food and groceries can be purchased online. 

This comes a day after choke points were seen outside some shopping centres after mall operators took steps to comply with Singapore's new safe-distancing measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. 

READ: Jail terms, fines for those who breach COVID-19 safe-distancing rules, stay-home notice

In the message, authorities also advised foreign workers and foreign domestic workers to remain in their residences on their rest days - and avoid gathering in public spaces. 

NEX shopping mall safe distancing
A queue to enter NEX shopping mall is seen at about 1pm on Mar 27, 2020. (Photo: Ahmad Fairuz)

They added that people should keep at least 1m apart from each other, and avoid gathering in public spaces or visiting crowded spaces. 

Safe-distancing rules in Singapore kicked in at 11.59pm on Thursday. Under the regulations, gatherings outside of work or school are limited to 10 people, who must maintain 1m distance from each other. This applies in settings where "interactions are non-transient", such as at supermarkets, restaurants and shopping malls. 

Owners or premises and event organisers must ensure that non-fixed seating is at least 1m away from any other seat at all times. If seats are fixed to the floor, alternate seats need to be demarcated as a seat not to be occupied. 

In public places where queues are formed, such as at retail stores or supermarkets, individuals need to stand 1m apart in the queue. 

safe distancing NTUC PLQ
Safe distancing measures at NTUC FairPrice PLQ Mall, Mar 22, 2020. (Photo: Chew Hui Min)

Business owners and event organisers who do not abide by these regulations may be jailed up to six months, or fined up to S$10,000, or both.

Individuals who intentionally sit on demarcated seats or stand in a queue less than 1m away from another individual could also face the above penalties.  

Singapore COVID-19 measures summary infographic Mar 24

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Source: CNA/dl

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