Safe Distancing Ambassadors Will Persuade Patrons To Observe Social Distancing, But Will Not Hand Out Fines

To limit the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore, the Ministry Of Health (MOH) is now encouraging citizens to practice healthy social distancing.

Thus, in order to ensure citizens abide by the new guidelines, safe distancing ambassadors are being hired to station themselves at local hawker centres.

You may have seen a photo of one of them floating around the Internet.

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Safe distancing ambassadors in hawker centres

According to a job listing posted by the National Environment Agency (NEA), they will be deployed to 111 hawker centres across Singapore.

They will be there to remind patrons to sit only on the unmarked seats and ensure people maintain a 1m distance from each other while queueing up for food.

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They will also “encourage patrons to choose take-out or food delivery options if seating capacity is limited”, the job posting on FastJobs said.

Apart from enforcing social distancing, their job scope also includes encouraging citizens to return their trays as part of the SG Clean Movement.

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Good communication skills required, but not to fine people

To be a safe distancing ambassador, one needs to have “good communication skills” in English and a mother tongue language, as well as an “ability to persuade others” to follow these measures.

However, don’t be afraid of them. Last week, messages were circulating on WhatsApp about a safe distancing ambassador issuing a $300 fine to a customer for seating on a seat marked as not to be occupied.

According to Enterprise Singapore, that is fake news. The ambassadors “do not impose fines” and are only there to “guide” patrons and businesses and ensure they comply with safe distancing measures.

Estimated salary is $2,500 a month

NEA is offering a pretty generous sum of $2,500 a month to anyone willing to take up this job.

While the salary isn’t bad, it definitely isn’t easy money.

As stated in the job description, the ambassadors will need to take on a day or night shift on top of a compulsory full-day shift.

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That means they might have to sacrifice their weekends to station themselves at neighbourhood hawker centres.

Furthermore, getting people to acquire a new habit through pure persuasion is certainly no mean feat.

Help our social distancing ambassadors

While there is no confirmation from NEA regarding when we will start seeing these safe distancing staff, we can anticipate their presence in our neighbourhood hawker centre in days to come.

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Despite their inability to issue fines, we should still remain considerate and try to follow their instructions when approached.

Kudos to these upcoming social distancing ambassadors for their willingness to take up the challenging job of assisting NEA in crafting a safe environment for Singaporeans.

Featured image adapted from Time & Facebook.