Singapore

Business brisk as restrictions lifted at four popular wet markets

Business was brisk yesterday after entry restrictions were lifted at four popular wet markets. Customers flocked back to their neighbourhood marketplaces to buy fresh produce while still maintaining social distancing.

The four wet markets are Geylang Serai Market, Chong Pang Market at Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road, the market at Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane and the one at Block 505 Jurong West Street 52.

Entry to these markets has been restricted since April 22, with alternate-day entry allowed to people based on the last digit of their identity card number.

One of the visitors yesterday was private tutor Amanda Wong, 29, who was at the wet market in Yishun with her mother.

"I was expecting huge crowds, but there weren't (any). I think people have got used to timing their visits and are keeping away when they see too many people entering the market," Ms Wong said.

Restrictions, however, will remain in place during weekends. Other measures such as the use of SafeEntry for contact-tracing and social distancing guidelines will also remain in place.

The Straits Times visited Chong Pang Market yesterday morning and found a steady stream of people entering the market despite the drizzle, but crowd control was manageable and entry was orderly.

"I feel relieved that we are allowed to enter the market on any weekday. Say if something's not in the kitchen, I used to have to plan way in advance just in case I couldn't enter the market on that day due to restrictions," said retiree Aminah Osman.

But some stallholders were worried the restrictions might have caused a permanent dent in business.

"It's quite empty still, maybe it's because this is just the first day. So maybe it's unpredictable - maybe tomorrow there'll be more people," said butcher Jiang Yi.

"Because of IC restrictions, there have been a lot of people that stopped coming to the market entirely; they'd rather go to FairPrice," he added.

CONSUMER ISSUES