Coronavirus pandemic

NEA hawker centre stallholders to get 2 more months of rent waiver

Odd-or even-date entry restrictions at four popular markets, including the one at Block 505 Jurong West Street 52 (left), will continue, although NEA said the crowd situation at these markets has eased significantly over the last five weeks.
Odd-or even-date entry restrictions at four popular markets will continue. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Rental waivers will be provided to stallholders in hawker centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators for an additional two months till August.

NEA said yesterday that the additional two months of rental waiver were part of the Fortitude Budget announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat last Tuesday.

Around 14,000 stallholders in markets and hawker centres will benefit from five months' worth of rental waivers - 50 per cent in March, full rental waiver from April to July, and 50 per cent in August, with a minimum waiver of $200 per month.

Previously, those eligible were expected to receive three months' worth of waivers - 50 per cent for March, full rental waiver in April and May, and 50 per cent this month.

In addition, table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services will be subsidised for an additional month this month, benefiting around 6,000 cooked food stallholders, as dining in at food and beverage establishments will continue to be disallowed.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said: "Through the additional rental waiver and the extension of subsidy for table-cleaning fees and centralised dishwashing services, we hope to alleviate our stallholders' operating costs during this challenging period."

"We encourage members of the public to continue to support our hawkers through food deliveries or takeouts," she added, encouraging people to use their own containers to reduce the use of disposable packaging.

Odd-or even-date entry restrictions at four popular markets will continue, in line with the first phase of safe reopening which begins tomorrow.

NEA added that the crowd situation at these markets - Geylang Serai Market, Chong Pang Market at Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road, and the markets at Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52 - has eased significantly over the last five weeks.

For instance, with the exception of the week leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the average queue time was no more than 20 minutes, with no queue observed on some days.

Since the restrictions were enforced on April 24, the average daily number of patrons who were rejected entry has been reduced by half, from around 400 patrons to 200 patrons.

To better help patrons plan their visits, NEA encourages the public to use Space Out, a platform which provides crowd-level information and the length of queues for entry into markets which are already full.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2020, with the headline NEA hawker centre stallholders to get 2 more months of rent waiver. Subscribe