A Covid-19 CNY: How are restaurants, businesses and people in Singapore coping

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Chinese restaurant Si Chuan Dou Hua has already had to close its CNY orders due to demand. Here’s how a meal gets delivered from the restaurant kitchen to the customer.

Restaurants hire cabbies to fulfil CNY takeaway orders

Restaurants are so swamped with takeaway orders from those celebrating Chinese New Year at home that they have hired taxi drivers to deliver food, and are offering discounts for self-collection.

They have set up logistics teams to ensure things run smoothly and one has stopped taking orders for Chinese New Year's Eve on Thursday.

Families are allowed to have only eight unique visitors daily during the festive period and individuals cannot visit more than two households per day.

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Fewer snacks, but homes spruced up for CNY

Ms Steffi Ng usually buys seven tubs of snacks like pineapple tarts and almond cookies for Chinese New Year (CNY), but purchased only about three this year.

That is because with families allowed only eight unique visitors a day, she is afraid of wasting food.

Married with two children, aged three years and 13 months old, the 33-year-old training manager in a financial company said: "I'm scared we cannot finish the food. I just got enough (for the four of us)."

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Supermarkets stock up and take steps to ease festive CNY rush

Supermarkets are extending their opening hours and adding delivery slots to cope with the expected surge in demand for grocery orders ahead of Chinese New Year.

The major supermarket chains told The Sunday Times they will have stores open on the first day of Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb 12.

At FairPrice, 129 of its 149 stores will stay open that day, up from 114 last year.

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Wet markets implement crowd control measures ahead of CNY

Visiting the Chong Pang City Wet Market is a daily routine for housewife Sum Kwai Siong, but the risk of Covid-19 infections from crowds expected over Chinese New Year is keeping her on edge.

"It would mean a longer waiting time to buy what you want. So I would wake up earlier and go to the market just to avoid the crowds," noted Ms Sum, 46.

Concerns emerged when large crowds were seen at the wet market at Chinatown Complex last week, with many out to stock up for Chinese New Year.

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Abalone prices down in Singapore, but vegetable and fish prices soar ahead of CNY

Abalone prices have dropped by 5 per cent to 30 per cent during this Chinese New Year period, said wholesalers.

They told The Sunday Times this was due to Singaporeans' low spending power during the coronavirus pandemic as well as an oversupply of stock in China.

For instance, the price of a 180g can of Yoshihama abalone from Japan fell from last year's price of $28 to $20 last week. And the price of a 180g of Crown Brand abalone from China dropped from last year's tag of $21 to $13 last week.

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No CNY light-up in Chinatown, but shoppers soak in the festive atmosphere

Seeing the huge street displays in Chinatown being lit up is a significant part of the Chinese New Year experience for many Singaporeans.

One of them was Ms Connie Lee, 46, who went to Chinatown on Saturday (Feb 6) evening expecting to see the street light-up.

But there was no light-up.

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