SINGAPORE - Seat markings in hawker centres here have been adjusted to signal the increase in maximum dining group size from five to eight on Monday (Dec 28), the first day of Singapore's third phase of reopening.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement that tables with eight seats or fewer will no longer have any seat markings, while tables with more than eight seats will have some seats marked out to ensure that dining groups remain a maximum of eight people.
"With phase three, markings on seats and tables at the dining areas of hawker centres have been revised with simplicity and flexibility in mind to accommodate the increase in dining group size from five to eight persons," said the NEA.
The agency added that dining groups at hawker centres will still have to keep 1m from each other.
Where adjacent tables are less than 1m apart, some seats may be marked out to maintain safe distancing.
Safe distancing ambassadors will continue to be deployed at hawker centres to ensure compliance with safe management measures, said the NEA.
Singapore moved into the long-awaited third phase of its reopening on Monday, more than eight months after the circuit breaker was introduced in April to choke the spread of Covid-19.
Groups of up to eight people can now gather socially, up from a limit of five, and the capacity limit for malls and large standalone stores will be increased from 10 sq m per person to 8 sq m per person.
Beside keeping to safe management measures, diners at hawker centres should continue to put their litter in bins and return crockery and trays to designated collection points, said the NEA.
"This will help to keep the dining environment at our hawker centres clean, and reduce the risk of disease transmission to other patrons, cleaners and hawkers," said the agency.
The NEA also said that from next Monday, it will be removing access control measures at seven markets here that were introduced to protect public health and to make sure that there was effective safe distancing in the markets.
The seven markets are:
1. Block 221A/B Boon Lay Place
2. Block 448 Clementi Avenue 3
3. Block 628 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4
4. Block 58 New Upper Changi Road
5. Block 4A Eunos Crescent
6. Block 216 Bedok North Street 1
7. Block 630 Bedok Reservoir Road
These markets join 20 others that had such measures removed since April. The access control measures were initially implemented in 40 crowded markets.
Under such measures, members of the public are not allowed to enter once the number of patrons in each market reaches the stipulated allowable capacity.
The NEA said that 13 markets will continue to have access control measures, as they have been observed to still have long queues.
"NEA seeks the understanding of members of the public and stallholders that a calibrated approach is necessary to strike a balance between resuming activities in the markets, and safeguarding the safety and well-being of all patrons and stallholders," said the agency.