Coronavirus Singapore

Malls begin checks on shoppers' vaccination status

Some malls across the island started putting up signs and notices yesterday to inform shoppers that only those vaccinated will be able to enter.

At Nex mall in Serangoon, staff were seen putting up signs that read "Mandatory - entry for fully vaccinated shoppers only" at entry points.

Meanwhile, Certis security officers were deployed at the entrance of Bedok Mall to check the vaccination status of shoppers.

Under stricter rules announced by the Government, unvaccinated people will not be allowed to enter malls and large standalone stores from Oct 20, with exceptions made for those who show proof that they need medical or childcare services.

Children aged 12 and below, unvaccinated people who have recovered from Covid-19, and those with a negative pre-event test result will also be permitted entry for the duration of the activity or service.

The measures were due to kick in yesterday, but a week's grace period till next Wednesday was given to enable malls and large stores to adjust to the new restrictions.

During the grace period, malls will be required to check patrons' vaccination status but can let in those who do not meet the requirements. They also have to remind patrons of the new rules.

When ST visited two other malls yesterday, their staff were deployed to deal with the flow of patrons as they made manual checks on their vaccination status.

At Junction 8, a queue formed at one of the entrances after 10am, as most people activated their TraceTogether app to show their vaccination status only when asked.

Notices on the vaccination-differentiated rules were also being set up at the entrances.

The notices stated children aged 12 and below will need to show their student pass for identification while food delivery personnel not in uniform need to show proof of the pick-up via their food delivery app. Those working in the mall must show their mall entry pass.

Some patrons thought the new measures should have been announced earlier to give people more time to get fully vaccinated.

A man in his 40s who wanted to be known only as Mr Lau said: "The measures should have been announced three to four weeks before roll-out so people can get fully vaccinated with both jabs first."

At VivoCity, there was a queue waiting to enter the mall from a HarbourFront MRT station exit from 10am despite the mall stationing two staff members to check shoppers' vaccination status.

Retired polytechnic lecturer Lau Chung Sing, 75, who did not mind the wait to enter the mall, said: "I feel safer with these new measures. It's so easy to contract the virus these days at crowded places like foodcourts, so I'm quite worried. But I still have to get my food."

An unvaccinated patron who wanted to be known only as Ms Sue, 40, is making the most of the grace period for malls.

"I'm going to go out every day this week to meet people, and use up some vouchers," said Ms Sue, who was worried she would be stopped from entering malls yesterday.

She added that she will also be going to Spotlight at Plaza Singapura to "stock up on things I cannot get next week". "I'm not going to get vaccinated because we have to continue getting booster shots. When they force us to take booster shots every six months, you don't know what they are going to do next."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2021, with the headline 'Malls begin checks on shoppers' vaccination status'. Subscribe