Bookings required for visitors driving to Mandai, Choa Chu Kang Columbarium during Qing Ming period
SINGAPORE: Visitors driving to Mandai Columbarium and Choa Chu Kang Columbarium during the Qing Ming period must book an appointment online as part of measures to manage crowds and improve traffic flow.
This follows the "successful implementation" of the e-booking system for Mandai Columbarium last year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday (Mar 2).
"Crowds at both Choa Chu Kang Columbarium and Mandai Columbarium are expected to be larger this year, given the higher niche occupancy," the agency added.
For Mandai Columbarium, bookings are required for visits from Mar 26 to Apr 17, between 6am and 4pm.
For Choa Chu Kang Columbarium, this applies on weekends, Qing Ming festival and Good Friday. The dates are Mar 26 and 27, as well as Apr 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17.
Appointment slots will be released two weeks before the peak days, starting on Mar 12.
Only vehicles registered with valid e-appointments will be allowed to enter and park at the premises during the specified period, and they will be required to show a confirmation email or SMS upon entry, said NEA.
"Vehicles arriving outside the appointment time may be denied entry for parking," it added.
Non-registered vehicles may drop off passengers using the designated drop-off and pick-up points.
For visitors taking public transport, appointment bookings are not required.
NEA also announced that government-managed columbaria will extend their opening hours to 24 hours daily, from Mar 26 to Apr 17 in anticipation of the increase in visitors during the Qing Ming period.
"The Garden of Peace will be closed to visitors at weekends and on public holidays during the Qing Ming period, to give privacy to those who have booked slots for the scattering of ashes," it added.
The agency reminded visitors to adhere to COVID-19 safe management measures, including keeping to the prevailing group size and wearing a mask properly at all times.
They are also advised to avoid visiting with elderly family members and young children, said NEA.
"Safe distancing ambassadors will be deployed for better crowd control, and traffic management arrangements will be put in place to help ease expected congestion," said NEA.
"Visitors are reminded not to give red packets to staff working at and within government columbaria and cemetery."