People not wearing face masks will not be allowed to enter the 40 markets managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators from Apr. 12 onwards.
"With re-usable masks being made available to Singapore residents, patrons should don a mask when visiting markets, given the generally crowded and closed-in environment in markets", the NEA said in a press release.
NEA said that the move is to safeguard the well-being of all stallholders and patrons at the markets, which tend to attract crowds over the weekends.
Wet markets are hotspots that need to manage
This move comes after National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said during Apr. 9 press conference that wet markets have become "hotspots that we really need to manage".
While entry to wet markets is now being controlled, Wong said that the consequential build-up of queues was not sustainable.
"One of which is our wet markets. We have kept these wet markets open. But we do know that many Singaporeans are used to going to wet markets on weekends, particularly in the morning."
One solution Wong said was for Singaporeans to change their wet market habits, which is not to visit them on a weekend morning.
Geylang Serai, Jurong West & Yishun hotspots
NEA said that the 40 markets have in place crowd management measures, such as controlled entry and exit points.
NEA also noted that there are however a few hotspots where the markets still attracted big crowds over the weekends.
These markets have long queues formed outside after the allowable capacity of the markets has been reached.
They include the markets at Geylang Serai, Block 505 Jurong West St 52 and Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road.
If the ground situation at these few hotspots does not improve, NEA would consider even stronger measures to reduce crowding both inside and outside these markets.
NEA's recommendations for market visits
NEA recommends that members of the public do the following during market visits:
- Wear a mask when visiting all markets
- Visit markets on weekdays and non-peak hours on weekends, wherever possible
- Visit markets once a week, and not everyday or even every few days
- Refrain from lingering in the market when buying groceries. Make a list of the items which are required, purchase them promptly and leave the market
- For patrons in vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, NEA strongly encourages them to seek assistance from other members in the household or neighbours should they require to buy food from the market
- Patrons should also consider visiting markets other than these 40 popular ones, which tend to have larger crowds.
List of markets with crowd management measures
Below is the list of the 40 markets with crowd management measures:
- Tiong Bahru Market
- Bukit Timah Market
- Tanglin Halt Market
- Geylang Serai Market
- Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre
- North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre
- Beo Crescent Market
- Kallang Estate Market
- Blk 409 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
- Blk 505 Jurong West St 52
- Blk 13/14 Haig Road
- Blk 4A Eunos Crescent
- Blk 104/105 Yishun Ring Road
- Blk 137 Tampines St 11
- Blk 630 Bedok Reservoir Rd
- Blk 209 Hougang St 21
- Blk 453A Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
- Blk 527 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
- Blk 628 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4
- Blk 341 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
- Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road
- Blk 29 Bendemeer Road
- Blk 49 Sims Place
- Blk 254 Jurong East St 24
- Blk 448 Clementi Ave 3
- Blk 50A Marine Terrace
- Blk 160/162 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4
- Blk 115 Bukit Merah View
- Blk 726 Clementi St 2
- Blk 79 Redhill Lane
- Blk 105 Hougang Ave 1
- Blk 16 Bedok South Rd
- Blk 216 Bedok North St 1
- Blk 58 New Upp Changi Rd
- Blk 335 Smith Street
- Blk 347 Jurong East Ave 1
- Blk 20/21 Marsiling Lane
- Blk 665 Buffalo Road
- Blk 221 A/B Boon Lay Place
- Blk 127 Toa Payoh Lor 1
Top photo from Masagos Zulkifli Facebook.