Coronavirus pandemic

URA website lets public check how crowded malls are for safe distancing

Launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority with 50 malls across the island, the website, Space Out, colour codes shopping malls according to current crowd levels, in hopes that people will make better decisions about where to go amid the coronavir
Launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority with 50 malls across the island, the website, Space Out, colour codes shopping malls according to current crowd levels, in hopes that people will make better decisions about where to go amid the coronavirus outbreak. PHOTO: URA

Those heading out to buy essentials can check online how crowded shopping malls are before leaving their home.

A new website, Space Out, colour codes shopping malls according to current crowd levels, in hopes that people will make better decisions about where to go amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) with 50 malls across the island, the website provides regular updates to users based on data from retail malls on shopper traffic.

Each mall is represented on the map by a coloured circle - green for not crowded, yellow for some crowding, orange for crowded, and red for maximum capacity.

The URA said shoppers can help to ease the pressure on retail mall operators in terms of crowd management by changing their plans to go to less crowded malls.

Malls with no crowd-level information currently appear in grey on the website.

The URA is working to get more mall operators on board so that shoppers can make more informed decisions.

Some of the more popular malls with available information include Bugis Junction, Westgate and Raffles City Shopping Centre.

Jem, 313 @ Somerset, Clarke Quay Central and others have also joined the programme and will have their crowd data up on the website shortly.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged all Singaporeans to stay at home. People should no longer meet those outside their immediate families, he said, and should leave home only for essential things like buying food.

"If we do not go out, if we avoid contact with others, then the virus will not be able to spread. It is as simple as that," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2020, with the headline 'URA website lets public check how crowded malls are for safe distancing'. Print Edition | Subscribe