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Number of safe distancing ambassadors to be reduced as Singapore eases COVID-19 restrictions: MSE

Number of safe distancing ambassadors to be reduced as Singapore eases COVID-19 restrictions: MSE
A safe-distancing ambassador checking the vaccination status of a food delivery rider on Oct 20, 2021. (Photo: Calvin Oh/CNA)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) on Sunday (Apr 24) said it plans to gradually reduce the number of safe distancing ambassadors (SDAs) it deploys on patrols as Singapore eases COVID-19 restrictions

“Personal and social responsibility by individuals and premises owners will become more important to keeping everyone safe” as Singapore works towards living with COVID-19, said MSE in response to CNA queries. 

Around 2,000 SDAs are currently employed by various government agencies. The ministry said that the Government would offer employment assistance to SDAs who require it. 

The move will allow SDAs to “return to other sectors as the economy continues to recover, amid the tightening labour market”, said MSE. 

Enforcement Officers (EOs) will still be needed, however, as safe management measures are still in place in some settings, MSE said. These include measures in settings with a higher risk of transmission, such as nightlife establishments with dancing, events with more than 500 attendees at any one time, and food and beverage establishments. 

Unlike SDAs, EOs have the authority to conduct checks and investigate any breaches of safe management measures.

“Firm enforcement action will continue to be taken against individuals and owners/operators of premises who do not comply with prevailing (measures),” MSE said. This could include fines or prosecution in court. 

“As we adjust to the new normal, we encourage everyone to do their part to keep one another safe and secure. We would also like to thank all our SDAs and EOs for their tireless efforts and contributions towards keeping Singapore safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MSE. 

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Source: CNA/vc(ac)

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