SINGAPORE - Businesses and food establishments in Orchard Road will have six more months to prepare for the smoking ban in public areas in the precinct, following feedback from stakeholders that they need more time to prepare.
Orchard Road was originally scheduled to go smoke-free on July 1, with smokers being able to light up only in designated smoking areas.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday (June 13) that the smoking ban will expected to be implemented at the end of this year instead, as businesses need more time to identify suitable locations and set up designated areas for smoking.
Food establishments that currently have smoking corners within the "No Smoking Zone" will also be given the same time extension to remove them, the agency added.
Existing smoking corners outside the zone that have already been approved will be allowed to remain until the current licences of the food establishments are terminated.
No new smoking corners will be approved for subsequent licensees of the same premises, added NEA.
To date, about 40 designated smoking areas have been set up, including five public ones at Orchard Towers, Far East Plaza, The Heeren, Cuppage Terrace, and behind Somerset MRT station.
Since the announcement in June last year that Orchard Road would go smoke-free on July 1 this year, the NEA said it has been actively engaging stakeholders, including the Orchard Road Business Association.
NEA said the majority of stakeholders in Orchard Road that it engaged with are supportive of the initiative.
"Nonetheless, as some businesses have given feedback that they need more time to make the necessary preparations, NEA has decided to extend the implementation date by about six months to the end of 2018," the agency said.