Coronavirus Singapore

Ion shut till Wednesday after linked cases; staff, visitors to be tested

Ion Orchard will be shut for four days from today for cleaning and disinfecting works after the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed a number of Covid-19 cases linked to the shopping mall.

It is the first mall in the popular Orchard Road shopping belt to do so during the pandemic. The mall will be closed from 7am today until 7am on Wednesday.

MOH reported yesterday that a 57-year-old woman who works as a promoter at Guardian in Ion Orchard had tested positive for Covid-19. Currently an unlinked case, she is the third worker at Ion to test positive for the virus, prompting MOH to close the mall until Wednesday.

The other two cases linked to the mall are a retail assistant who works at the Four Leaves outlet there and a repair worker at Grandwork Interior.

Ion Orchard confirmed to The Straits Times that it has received notice from the authorities to close for four days in the light of the rise in cases. During the closure, it will carry out deep cleansing and disinfection of its premises.

"During this period, shoppers or members of the public will not be allowed to enter the mall," it said.

However, both Ion Orchard Link and Ion Paterson Link, which are underground pedestrian networks, will remain accessible.

MOH said special testing operations will be conducted for staff who had been working at the mall from May 28 to disrupt any undetected community transmission.

Members of the public who had visited the shops or used the services and facilities at Ion from June 3 to yesterday will also be offered free Covid-19 testing.

Those who had only walked through the mall to connect to neighbouring buildings or Orchard MRT station need not be tested.

The ministry said shoppers who visited the mall from June 3 to yesterday should monitor their health closely and minimise social interactions as far as possible, for two weeks from their date of visit. They are also encouraged to see a doctor if they feel unwell.

"The safety and well-being of our shoppers, visitors and working communities are of utmost importance to us," said the mall, which is monitoring the situation.

"For the period of the mall closure, our tenants will receive the necessary support, including rental waivers, to help them ride through this period."

Tenants have up to 6pm today to remove the stocks from their stores.

Mr James Quan, who owns leather goods store Bynd Artisan, was informed of the closure at about 5pm yesterday. The 53-year-old was told that testing for the staff would be done in the mall's carpark.

"I think this is the right thing to do, to make sure that safety comes first and ensure that the coast is clear," he said. "It is better to just close for four days and hope everything will return to normal on June 16."

 • Additional reporting by Adeline Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline 'Ion shut till Wednesday after linked cases; staff, visitors to be tested'. Subscribe