Entry restrictions eased at four popular wet markets from Sept 12, no more odd-even system on weekends

Other measures such as the 1m distance between patrons will remain in place. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Entry restrictions at four popular markets will be fully eased from Saturday (Sept 12), although there will be a cap on the number of people allowed in at any one time, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Thursday.

The four wet markets are: Geylang Serai Market, Chong Pang Market at Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road, the market at Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane and the one at Block 505 Jurong West Street 52.

With the easing, these markets will no longer have odd-even entry restrictions which currently allow people to visit only on alternate days on weekends - depending on the last digit of their identity card number.

Other measures such as the use of SafeEntry for contact tracing purposes and the 1m distance between patrons will remain in place.

Since Aug 13, when the restrictions were eased on weekdays, the queue situation outside the markets has been manageable and under control, said the NEA.

Outside the markets, there were either no queues or short to moderate queues observed on weekdays, mostly at Geylang Serai Market and the market at Marsiling Lane.

The NEA has also observed a significant increase in the average daily footfall at all four markets on weekdays, ranging between 18 and 48 per cent.

"This has brought more business to the market stallholders while giving more flexibility to patrons visiting these popular markets," it said.

Weekend queues were observed to be largely unchanged from what they were more than three weeks ago, with minimal diversion of the weekend crowd to weekdays.

The longest queues were spotted at Geylang Serai Market, with over 100 patrons in line, and Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane, with about 70 patrons in line.

The other two markets did not see any queues on weekends.

At the respective peak hours at the two busier markets, it took about 20 minutes for a patron to enter Geylang Serai Market and 15 minutes for a patron to enter the Marsiling Lane market, which the NEA said was assessed to be "a manageable queue length".

The entry restrictions were first implemented across all four markets on April 22.

As waiting time to enter these markets may be longer with the lifting of the entry restrictions, shoppers are advised to visit these markets during weekdays and non-peak hours, and refer to Space Out to check the crowd level, such as the length of queue, before visiting.

NEA will work with the respective town councils managing the common areas of these markets to ensure that the necessary safe distancing measures are in place.

It added that it will continue to monitor the markets and if the queue situation becomes unmanageable, NEA may introduce further targeted safe management measures.

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