Coronavirus: New markings to be drawn at 83 markets to ensure safe distancing, says NEA

People should also avoid taking the elderly and vulnerable to markets.
People should also avoid taking the elderly and vulnerable to markets.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Markings will be drawn on the floor at 83 wet markets to remind people to keep a safe distance from each other when queueing at a stall, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Wednesday ((April 1).

This follows similar efforts at 107 hawker centres, where alternate seats were marked with a bright red tape across them to remind people they should not be used.

"While markets are a naturally ventilated environment where crowd interactions are fairly transient, patrons are still encouraged to maintain safe distancing, especially when taking turns to make their purchases," NEA said in a statement.

It encouraged people to stand in the red boxes that will be marked out at stalls, which will limit the number of customers at any one time and minimise crowding.

The markings will be drawn at markets managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators. They have so far been marked out at five markets.

In its statement, NEA noted that more people have been adhering to the markings drawn at hawker centres. In the past week, the proportion of people obeying the rules has gone up from 15 to 20 per cent, to around 60 per cent, it said.

It urged people to exercise socially responsible behaviour and avoid visiting markets or hawker centres when unwell.

People should also avoid taking the elderly and vulnerable to markets, especially during peak periods, and avoid crowding around market stalls, it added.

And they should leave when they have made their purchases, it said.


"To safeguard public health, and ensure a safe and positive environment for all, patrons are strongly encouraged to make small adjustments to their routine, and to visit markets during weekdays or non-peak periods instead of planning their regular weekend visits," NEA said.

"When at the markets, patrons are reminded to keep themselves and others around them safe by observing good hygiene habits, such as using tissue when coughing or sneezing, binning all litter, and washing hands regularly with soap."