Thinner crowds at Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza

Some shoppers turned away after entry restrictions reinstated

Crowds were thinner at Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza yesterday as entry restrictions were reinstated to curb the spread of Covid-19 following a spike in community cases.

The restrictions on Sundays let only those whose identification numbers end in even digits visit on even dates, and those whose numbers end in odd digits visit on odd dates. Those restrictions were put in place in August last year and lifted on April 10.

Domestic helper Maricel O Gonda, 39, was among those turned away from Lucky Plaza as her identification number ended with an odd digit. She ended up waiting two hours for her friend to finish shopping there.

"I didn't know I wouldn't be allowed to enter. I like to shop here and I take precautions like keeping a distance from others and wearing a mask always," said Ms O Gonda, who usually goes out with two or three of her friends.

Likewise, Ms Sue Mahn, 31, was turned away from Peninsula Plaza. "I have been waiting half an hour for my friend," said the home nurse whose identification number also ended with an odd digit.

A queue outside Peninsula Plaza moved briskly when The Straits Times visited it around 3pm.

Meanwhile, at Lucky Plaza, there were no queues outside the shops when ST was there at lunchtime.

Most shoppers were also keeping a safe distance. Those who were allowed into the mall said they did not have to wait long to enter.

Ms Marites Alingod, 42, said there was no queue outside Lucky Plaza when she arrived at 1pm. The domestic helper was at the mall to settle paperwork to renew her passport.

"We can move around easily and it's not really crowded, with the even and odd arrangement," said Ms Alingod.

She usually visits another mall, such as Wisma Atria, if Lucky Plaza gets too crowded.

Another domestic helper, who wanted to be known only as Annabelle, said it took her just a few seconds to get into the mall.

The 47-year-old, who usually spends up to an hour in the mall, said: "It's very comfortable for me to come here today... On some Sundays, it is so crowded so I never come in here. I like this system much better as it's easier to get around and buy what I need."

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.