Residents Not Wearing Masks Will Be Denied Entry At 40 NEA-Managed Markets From 12 Apr
Ever since a study found that asymptomatic patients can transmit Covid-19 to others, the Singapore government has stopped advising people to wear face masks only when unwell.
They even distributed reusable masks for free to citizens.
Sadly, it seems many Singaporeans still refuse to cover up when out. This poses a huge health risk when it comes to local transmissions, especially in crowded areas.
Hence, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has moved to deny entry to those not wearing face masks at markets from Sunday (12 Apr) onwards.
Customers without masks will be denied entry at 40 NEA-managed markets
From Sunday (12 Apr), customers not wearing face masks will be denied entry at 40 markets managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators.
In their statement on Friday (10 Apr), NEA said,
This move is to safeguard the health and well-being of all stallholders and patrons at our markets.
The list of markets includes:
- Tiong Bahru Market
- Bukit Timah Market
- Tanglin Halt Market
- Geylang Serai Market
- Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre
- North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre
- Beo Crescent Market
- Kallang Estate Market
- Blk 409 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
- Blk 505 Jurong West St 52
- Blk 13/14 Haig Road
- Blk 4A Eunos Crescent
- Blk 104/105 Yishun Ring Road
- Blk 137 Tampines St 11
- Blk 630 Bedok Reservoir Rd
- Blk 209 Hougang St 21
- Blk 453A Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
- Blk 527 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
- Blk 628 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4
- Blk 341 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
- Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road
- Blk 29 Bendemeer Road
- Blk 49 Sims Place
- Blk 254 Jurong East St 24
- Blk 448 Clementi Ave 3
- Blk 50A Marine Terrace
- Blk 160/162 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4
- Blk 115 Bukit Merah View
- Blk 726 Clementi St 2
- Blk 79 Redhill Lane
- Blk 105 Hougang Ave 1
- Blk 16 Bedok South Rd
- Blk 216 Bedok North St 1
- Blk 58 New Upp Changi Rd
- Blk 335 Smith Street
- Blk 347 Jurong East Ave 1
- Blk 20/21 Marsiling Lane
- Blk 665 Buffalo Road
- Blk 221 A/B Boon Lay Place
- Blk 127 Toa Payoh Lor 1
Customers advised to go home if queues to enter markets are too long
To manage crowds, NEA has implemented measures such as controlling entry and exit points, as well as limiting crowd capacity to allow for 1-metre safe distancing.
While the statutory board acknowledged that overall adherence rates of safe distancing measures have increased, crowded markets still pose a threat to patrons.
That’s especially the case on weekends when large crowds and long queues were observed at markets in Geylang Serai, Jurong West, and Yishun.
Long queue spotted at Geylang Serai Market on 8 Apr
Hence, NEA advises citizens to go home and return on another day if queues for the markets are too long.
More stringent measures will be considered if the overcrowding situation does not improve.
NEA also advised the public to:
- Wear a mask when visiting markets
- Visit markets on weekdays or off-peak hours on weekends
- Make a grocery list to refrain from lingering
- Visit markets other than the 40 hotspots listed above
- Visit the market once a week, instead of every few days
Vulnerable customers, like the elderly, should engage other family members or neighbours to help them buy food or groceries.
Reduced crowds, reduced risk
If we follow the guidelines set out by NEA and the government, we’re sure to reduce the chances of transmission. This not just protects us, but also the more vulnerable elderly.
While it’s understandable that breathing hot and humid air when donning face masks is uncomfortable, do keep in mind that this little action goes a long way, so let’s just bear with it for the time being.
As far as possible, stay home and avoid social gatherings. If you have to go out, remember to maintain a safe distance and wear a face mask.
Featured image adapted from Financial Times.