Singapore

Shopping, entertainment outlets feel impact of coronavirus

Party World KTV says patronage has fallen by 50%, The Projector sees 30% drop in cinema-goers

Several entertainment venues in Singapore have had to make changes to operations and step up measures to protect customers as amid the coronavirus outbreak.

This is especially after the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition was raised to orange.

According to an administrative officer at Party World KTV, the number of patrons at the karaoke chain has fallen by around 50 per cent.

She told The New Paper all microphones are put in sterilisers overnight, all customers are required to have their temperatures taken and hand sanitisers are readily available.

Nightlife venue Zouk Singapore has been taking precautions like temperature checks since January.

Its spokesman did not respond to TNP's query on whether it has seen a drop in patronage, but said passports of foreigners are screened to ensure they have not been to China in the past 14 days.

Lifestyle destination Downtown East said that while it expects a smaller turnout of 25,000 participants for its upcoming food carnival Eatbox over two weekends this month, there will be an ambulance and medical personnel on standby on all event days.

Cinema chain Golden Village (GV) declined to comment on how attendance figures have been affected, but said the number of screenings has not changed.

In fact, it is programming more sessions for Oscar-winning South Korean film Parasite.

GV has lifted its no-single-seat-gap policy, allowing customers to leave a space between themselves and other patrons if they wish to.

Contact tracing Quick Response codes have been set up at all cinemas, and all patrons are required to have their temperatures checked before entering the movie hall.

OPTIMISTIC

A spokesman told The New Paper: "We remain optimistic that the situation will improve as the government and community work together to contain the spread of the virus.

"With a strong line-up of highly-anticipated action blockbusters in the coming months, we expect cinema attendance to improve with time."

Independent cinema The Projector has suffered a 30 per cent drop in attendance.

Its spokesman said: "Being a small business, we hope our fanbase and community will continue to support us through these challenging times as we explore new revenue streams."

Shopping malls are also feeling the heat, with several adjusting their opening hours.

Tangs at Tang Plaza is now open daily from 11.30am till 8.30pm - opening an hour later and closing an hour earlier than usual.

Department store OG, which used to operate from 11am to 9.30pm daily, has been closing at 8.30pm until further notice so that "staff can go home earlier for a longer period of rest, which may help protect their health in this critical period", said an OG spokesman.

Tourist arrivals at OG have dropped by 30 per cent, with an "even more severe" decline in sales and footfall.

CapitaLand said it will offer its mall partners the flexibility to operate shorter store hours, and a $10 million marketing assistance programme will be used to support both retailer-driven promotions and mall-wide marketing initiatives.

These include complimentary booking of atrium spaces for retailers and free parking for shoppers during lunch or dinner hours.

coronavirus