SINGAPORE: The Hari Raya Bazaar at Wisma Geylang Serai will be deferred due to COVID-19 concerns, said the People's Association (PA) on Wednesday (Mar 18).
The annual bazaar, which was also going to be held at Our Tampines Hub and in Woodlands, will not be organised, as they would normally attract large crowds, PA said in a media release.
"As the festive bazaars contribute to the festive mood, we understand that some residents may be disappointed. However, as our bazaars attract large crowds, we have taken the difficult decision not to proceed with these activities," said PA.
PA said it will not be organising any festive bazaars and trade fairs starting from Wednesday "for the well-being and safety of our residents".
"For trade fairs which are already going on, the operators have put in additional precautionary measures such as temperature taking and providing hand sanitisers," said the release.
"For festive bazaars where tenders have been awarded, the organisers will abide by the cancellation clauses and look after the interest of the tenderers."
On Wednesday, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said in a Facebook post that the move was a "a tough, but responsible decision" by PA.
"Despite the disappointment, I hope our community will understand and support this difficult decision," said Mr Masagos.
"This Ramadan will certainly be different, but I am certain we can find #COVID19-friendly and safe ways to keep the Ramadan and Hari Raya spirit alive!"
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The move is in line with a Ministry of Health (MOH) advisory on Mar 13 on the deferment or cancellation of all non-essential events and gatherings, and social distancing in public venues, according to the release.
MOH on Mar 13 advised event organisers to defer or cancel all ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events with 250 participants or more.
For all other mass gatherings including private functions and religious services, MOH advised precautions, including reducing the scale of events to below 250 participants where possible, minimising crowding and improving ventilation.