Safe distancing

If ambassadors can't help, what can public do?

Despite the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, I continue to see people who are not cooperating with measures such as social distancing and wearing masks.

I recently saw a group of five seniors seated at a makeshift table outside Yuhua Village Market and Food Centre. Two of them had half-filled glasses of beer, while the other three were talking. They occasionally looked over at the safe distancing ambassadors (SDAs) on duty at another corner of the market.

Passers-by seemed to be annoyed with their behaviour but ignored them.

Out of concern, I approached the SDAs.

When I asked whether the SDAs could request these seniors to comply with safe distancing measures, one of them said that it was beyond his scope of duty and suggested that I lodge a police report of an unlawful assembly in order to disperse these seniors.

One SDA told me that members of the public have more power than SDAs to enforce the rules on citizens who are not complying with safe management measures. I was speechless.

What can members of the public do to help when they encounter similar incidents?

Ho See Ling

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2021, with the headline 'If ambassadors can't help, what can public do?'. Subscribe