All markets and hawker centres in S'pore now require TraceTogether check-in

All patrons, stallholders and stall assistants must use their TraceTogether Token or app before entering. PHOTO: NEA

SINGAPORE - Visitors to all markets and hawker centres in Singapore are now required to check in with their TraceTogether app or token.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Friday (July 30) that it has worked with town councils, operators and other agencies to progressively implement access control with SafeEntry at all of these locations.

"To facilitate safe entry to markets and hawker centres, all patrons, stallholders and stall assistants must bring along and use their TraceTogether token or app to tap on the SafeEntry Gateway reader," said NEA. The TraceTogether app can also be used to scan the QR code to check-in, it added.

"NEA and town councils will be progressively deploying personnel to assist with SafeEntry check-in at access points to markets and hawker centres."

The move to install interim fencing and make TraceTogether-only SafeEntry mandatory was earlier announced by the Health Ministry (MOH) on July 20.

The tightened measures are meant to tamp down a surge in Covid-19 cases at markets and food centres, likely seeded when fishmongers visited Jurong Fishery Port to collect their seafood stocks.

The Jurong Fishery Port cluster was already the largest here at 321 cases when MOH announced the stepped-up measures last Tuesday.

As at Friday afternoon, there were 997 Covid-19 cases linked to the Jurong Fishery Port/Hong Lim Market and Food Centre clusters, according to MOH.

NEA said the recent cases and clusters at markets and hawker centres are a reminder of the need to maintain high standards of hygiene and cleanliness, and to strictly observe safe distancing.

The porous nature of markets and hawker centres has been a challenge for SafeEntry compliance, with QR codes previously placed at individual stalls and centre toilets to facilitate contact tracing, it noted.

But given how transmissible the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus is, there is an increased need for quicker contact tracing, NEA added.

Temporary fencing have been set up at the locations to limit the access points to markets and hawker centres.

Personnel will progressively be deployed to man SafeEntry check-in points at markets and hawker centres, with priority given to peak periods like meal times to facilitate "safe and more efficient entry into premises", said NEA.

Interim fencing at Geylang Serai Market. PHOTO: NEA

Safe distancing ambassadors and enforcement officers will continue to be deployed at the locations to ensure compliance with rules.

The authority urged patrons to be socially responsible and to perform their check-ins at access points regardless of whether or not the entry points are manned.

Other precautions should still be observed as well, it added. These include keeping a safe distance from others, not lingering at these premises unnecessarily, and wearing masks properly at all times.

"We seek the understanding of members of the public to adhere to safe management measures at markets and hawker centres," NEA added.

"These are crucial to minimise the risk of clusters forming, which may require the closure of premises for deep cleaning and disinfection."

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