Entry restrictions at 4 popular wet markets to be eased
From tomorrow, the rule for entry based on IC numbers will be lifted
Entry restrictions at four popular wet markets will be eased from tomorrow after a noticeable reduction in weekday queues, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday.
The affected markets - 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 - have seen crowds on weekdays reduced to the point where there are either no queues, or very short ones over the past three months.
The NEA sent a circular to stallholders at these four markets yesterday to announce that the rule that allowed shoppers to visit these markets only on alternate days - depending on the last digit of their identity card number - would be lifted on weekdays.
The aim is to further reduce crowding on weekends by allowing people more time to shop during the week, it said.
NEA said in a statement: "Safe distancing within the market will not be compromised as the access control system which caps the number of patrons who can be inside the market at any one time will still be in place.
"We urge members of the public to continue to adhere to safe distancing measures."
The rule, in place since April 22, will continue to apply on weekends. Other measures such as the use of SafeEntry and the 1m distance between patrons will remain.
Chong Pang Market provision shop owner Ng Meng Seah was not sure whether easing the rule would lead to a significant increase in the number of shoppers on weekdays as footfall is quite "unpredictable".
The 65-year-old does not have special plans to manage potential crowds as "there is only so much you can do to prepare".
"There is not much I can do due to space constraints. I will wait for Thursday to see if there is a big change in the number of patrons before I react."
The tighter regulations over the past few months have affected Mr Ng's earnings, but he is not celebrating just yet and wants to first see the impact of the rules being eased.
Retiree Chan Heng Lian, who frequents Chong Pang Market, said the easing of weekday restrictions makes the rules a lot less complicated.
The former electronics factory worker, who is now in his 70s, said he is happy he can now visit the market whenever he wants on weekdays, especially as "it is really crowded on weekends".
"I have already been avoiding the weekends so this is great news," he said. "This makes things so much easier for me."
The Government has been progressively easing rules that were imposed earlier in the year to curb the spread of Covid-19.