Patrons welcome stricter safety rules at markets, hawker centres
Patrons queued and waited patiently yesterday morning to enter markets and hawker centres, which now require TraceTogether for entry.
SafeEntry Gateway readers have been set up at entrances for patrons, stallholders and stall assistants to check in with their TraceTogether token or app. Multiple QR codes are also available for scanning.
Safe distancing enforcement officers and ambassadors were present to ensure compliance with the enhanced Covid-19 safety measures and to manage crowds.
In a statement on Friday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said the manning of access points will be prioritised during peak periods, such as mealtimes at hawker centres, to facilitate safe and more efficient entry.
It reminded people to be socially responsible and perform their check-in, regardless of whether or not the entry points are manned.
On July 20, the Ministry of Health announced that NEA and town councils would progressively introduce TraceTogether-only SafeEntry and SafeEntry Gateway check-in requirements at all markets and hawker centres.
NEA said on Friday that access control with SafeEntry at markets and hawker centres has since been implemented.
The measures come after a surge in Covid-19 cases at markets and hawker centres in recent weeks. They were likely seeded when fishmongers visited Jurong Fishery Port to collect seafood stocks and had contact with infected cases.
When The Straits Times visited Yuhua Village Market and Food Centre at 10am yesterday, there was a steady stream of people entering in an orderly fashion. But the premises were not packed.
Among those buying groceries was Ms Mumtaj Begum, 39, whose trolley was filled with a week's worth of vegetables.
The warehouse packer said she was glad to see that Covid-19 safety measures have been stepped up.
She added: "It is necessary. Some people don't want to carry their token, but they may have Covid-19. Every Sunday, there is a long queue (at the wet market), so even if you come early, it will still be crowded."
At the market at 505 Jurong West Street 52, Ms Lyn Quek, 37, was queueing up to buy porridge for lunch.
The civil servant said: "The measures can be a bit inconvenient, but if they keep everyone safe, we just have to follow them during this period."