Coronavirus: All govt columbaria to close on weekends, visitor restrictions during weekdays as Qing Ming nears

Visitors could also be temporarily stopped from going into the columbaria buildings if the National Environment Agency decides there is a need for crowd control.
Visitors could also be temporarily stopped from going into the columbaria buildings if the National Environment Agency decides there is a need for crowd control.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - All government columbaria will be closed on weekends and public holidays until April 26 while visitors should keep to groups of four or fewer during weekdays, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday (March 25).

The announcement by the agency, which oversees government columbaria here, came in anticipation of a surge in visitors during the peak period between March 21 and April 19 with the annual Qing Ming festival on April 4 fast approaching.

The NEA said that senior citizens and young children should stay away altogether and that visitors should avoid crowding around the prayer and joss paper burning areas or risk having these areas closed off.

Visitors could also be temporarily stopped from going into the columbaria buildings if the NEA decides there is a need for crowd control.

With the closures on weekends and public holidays, visitors should arrange trips during weekdays and avoid peak hours such as the mornings, the NEA said.

It will keep government-run columbaria in Choa Chu Kang, Mandai and Yishun open 24 hours on weekdays until April 24 to give visitors more flexibility in their arrangements during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Visits should be kept short and the 1m social-distancing rule applies, the NEA added.

It has also said that hand sanitisers will be available at lift lobbies, tables will be spaced out and contact surfaces will be wiped down more frequently to maintain good hygiene standards.

"Visitors to our facilities are reminded to keep themselves and others around them safe by observing good hygiene habits, such as binning their litter and keeping the shared spaces clean," it added.