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Hawker centres to feature new seating arrangement during Phase 2, hand sanitiser dispensers to be installed: NEA

Hawker centres to feature new seating arrangement during Phase 2, hand sanitiser dispensers to be installed: NEA

People wearing facemasks as a prevention measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus queue to buy takeaway food next to empty tables at a hawker centre in Singapore on Apr 22, 2020. (Photo: AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

SINGAPORE: All hawker centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) will feature a new seating arrangement, with seats and tables marked out for dining groups of different sizes, said NEA on Tuesday (Jun 16) as Singapore prepared to enter Phase 2 of its reopening after the COVID-19 "circuit breaker". 

The COVID-19 multi-ministry task force had announced on Monday that Phase 2 would begin on Jun 19, during which most activities and businesses would be allowed to resume, including dining in at food and beverage outlets. 

A limit on gatherings to no more than five people will remain in place. Tables must also be spaced 1m apart. 

In view of these guidelines, patrons of hawker centres should continue to sit only at unmarked seats and tables when dining in, said NEA. Certain tables may also be closed or have additional seats marked to facilitate safe distancing between dining groups. 

"As compared to the pre-circuit breaker period, overall seating capacity at our hawker centres will generally be higher under Phase 2, even with some seats or tables marked out.

"Similar to the current practice, individuals should still maintain safe distancing of at least one metre at all times when queuing to make cooked food purchases or while waiting for their orders," said NEA. 

READ: COVID-19: Phase 2 of reopening to start from Jun 19, social gatherings of up to five people allowed

READ: ‘A great relief’: F&B and retail businesses welcome Phase 2 but say it will take some time to recover

Automated hand sanitiser dispensers will also be installed at all 114 hawker centres and markets managed by NEA.  

The number of dispensers installed will depend on the centre's size and layout. These dispensers will be placed near entrances, exits and lift lobbies. 

"Where possible, some dispensers may be placed near to tray return racks so that patrons can sanitise their hands after returning their trays, should there be a queue at the hand wash basin," NEA said. 

Patrons are advised to continue to wear their masks except when drinking or eating, as well as to check in and out with the SafeEntry QR code during every visit. 

There is no change to existing safe management measures at markets in Phase 2. 

Access to the four markets, Geylang Serai Market, Chong Pang Market, the market at Blk 20/21 Marsiling Lane and at Block 505 Jurong West Street 52, will continue to be restricted based on the last digit of the patrons' identification card numbers. 

Patrons are also encouraged to minimise crowding and maintain safe distancing when making their purchases at the market stalls. 

All hawker centres and markets will continue to ensure high standards of cleanliness and hygiene, NEA said. Enhanced measures such as increased cleaning frequency of toilets and frequently touched areas will continue as dine-in resumes in Phase 2. 

Safe distancing enforcement officers and ambassadors will continue to be deployed at hawker centres and markets to ensure compliance with safe management measures. 

NEA also urged members of the public to be "socially responsible", and refrain from visiting markets and hawker centres if sick or unwell.

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Source: CNA/lk(hs)


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