SINGAPORE - Seating arrangements at hawker centres will be changed to accommodate the new safe distancing measures for dine-in during phase two of the post-circuit breaker, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday (June 16).
The Government announced on Monday that dining in at food and beverage outlets, including at hawker centres, will be allowed from Friday, subject to safe distancing principles during this new phase.
To align with phase two guidelines, the NEA, its appointed operators and the town councils will be marking out seats and tables for dining groups of different sizes, of between one and five people.
This is to comply with the phase two provision that small-group social gatherings of up to five people will be allowed.
Patrons should continue to sit only at unmarked seats and tables when dining at the hawker centres.
In addition, certain tables may be closed, with additional seats marked in some cases, to facilitate safe distancing of at least 1m between dining groups.
The NEA said in a statement: "As compared to the pre-circuit breaker period, overall seating capacity at our hawker centres will generally be higher under phase two, even with some seats and tables marked out.
"Similar to the current practice, individuals should still maintain safe distancing of at least 1m at all times when queueing to make cooked food purchases or while waiting for their orders."
The agency, together with appointed operators, manage 114 hawker centres.
The NEA will also be installing automated hand sanitiser dispensers at all its hawker centres and markets, with the number at each centre depending on the place's size and layout.
The dispensers will be installed near the entrances or exits and lift lobbies of each centre.
Some dispensers may be placed near tray return racks where possible, so that patrons can sanitise their hands after returning their trays if there is a queue at the washing basins.
The NEA said enhanced cleaning measures will continue into phase two as well.
These include increasing the cleaning frequency of toilets and frequently touched areas, such as table tops, seats, lifts and hand rails, as well as having cleaners wear gloves when clearing tables and used crockery and utensils.
In the toilets, there should also be adequate supply of toilet paper and soap.
Other safe management protocols at markets will also continue, such as the measures at Geylang Serai Market, Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road (Chong Pang Market), Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane, and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52 to restrict entry based on the last digit of a person's NRIC or Foreign Identification Number.
Patrons of all 83 markets managed by the NEA and NEA-appointed operators should also continue to stand within the boxes marked on the floor, to minimise crowding and maintain safe distancing when making their purchases at the market stalls, the agency said.
It added that people should wear their masks at hawker centres, apart from when they are eating or drinking.
They should also check in and out using the SafeEntry QR codes placed at each centre.
The NEA said: "We would like to remind patrons to keep the hawker centre tables clean for the next diner by returning their trays and used crockery or cutlery.
"In particular, used tissues and wipes can be contaminated with bodily fluids and harbour viruses or bacteria, thus posing a risk of disease transmission to cleaners and other diners."