SINGAPORE: Singapore's largest supermarket chain will roll out an initiative called FairPrice on Wheels, to allow residents in selected areas to buy groceries without venturing too far from home during the extended COVID-19 "circuit-breaker" period.
From Thursday (Apr 23), FairPrice vans will stop by five locations - at Commonwealth Link, Telok Blangah Crescent, Telok Blangah Rise, Kampong Glam Community Club and Jalan Kukoh - from 9am to 2pm daily.
It will be stocked with essential items such as rice, milk, cooking oil, bread, fruit, vegetables and toiletries.
Only cash payments will be accepted, and the usual purchase limits apply.
“While we encourage everyone to stay home during the circuit breaker period, we also understand that there may be people who do not have the option to have their groceries purchased on their behalf," said FairPrice Group CEO Seah Kian Peng.
"Therefore, we aim to bring daily essentials closer to their homes, especially for seniors, so that they do not have to spend too much time away from home."
He added that the initiative will also make it more convenient for residents to help their elderly neighbours with the purchase of groceries.
Demographic data showing locations where over 30 per cent of residents are seniors was used to determine the five locations, said FairPrice in a press release. Other factors such as the walking distance to the nearest supermarket were also considered.
"This initiative will last as long as there is sizeable consumer demand for the service," FairPrice said, adding that it would expand the service to cover more locations if required.
READ: NTUC FairPrice increases online capacity, reinstates S$3.99 service fee as online orders surge
FairPrice is also trying out another new initiative that allows customers to pre-order groceries via WhatsApp, then pick them up at FairPrice Xpress stores at Esso petrol stations.
This is for residents who live near the petrol stations at East Coast, Upper Changi, Lorong Chuan, Jurong East and Yishun Avenue 9, said Mr Seah in a Facebook post.
"Consider this option and let us have your feedback," he added.
The supermarket chain has been trying to cope with a surge in online orders, as people were urged to stay home as much as possible to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday that the circuit breaker period will be extended by four weeks until Jun 1. Tighter measures, such as closing more workplaces and imposing entry restrictions at popular markets, were also announced.
Singapore reported 1,016 new cases of COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, the vast majority of which are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.
The national total now stands at 10,141.
READ: From bubble tea runs to getting a haircut: What you can or cannot do under tighter COVID-19 circuit breaker rules
Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram