'Significantly reduced' number of people in town & neighbourhood centres on Apr. 12: MEWR

The environment minister that said that was 'encouraged' to see less people outside.

Mandy How| April 12, 11:21 PM

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) noted that there were "significantly reduced numbers of people" out and about on Sunday, Apr. 12.

"Good progress made"

This was observed at parks, as well as town and neighbourhood centres, according to a press release.

The ministry attributed the reduced footfall to tightened enforcement measures.

For instance, the crowd at Geylang Serai Market was about 50 per cent less than a typical weekend, and queues dispersed quickly.

The market in Tekka Centre did not have queues, and the crowd was thin.

Photo via Masagos Zulkifli/Facebook

Photo via Masagos Zulkifli/Facebook

MEWR also pointed out that merchants and shop owners have played their part in reminding patrons to observe safe distancing measures.

Many stallholders at markets and hawker centres are wearing masks as well, it added.

However, a small portion of the population continued to flout the safe distancing measures, gathering in groups to exercise and socialise.

MERW revealed that more than 3,000 ambassadors and enforcement officers were deployed on Apr. 12.

Overall, "good progress" had been made and many Singaporeans haven proven to be socially responsible, the statement said.

Illegal hawker fined S$1,000

In the same release, MEWR announced that an illegal hawker in Bukit Batok has been fined S$1,000 after being caught by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Apr. 11.

The fine is executed under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.

The hawker has also been instructed to cease operations immediately.

200 fines vs. 3,000 warnings

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli reinforced the message in a Facebook post on Apr. 12, and said that he was "encouraged" to see fewer people outside.

He revealed:

"Around 200 composition fines will be issued to members of the public who did not comply with circuit breaker measures today (our officers do not collect cash). This is much less than the 3,000 warnings yesterday."

However, Masagos added that the government should not be mobilising such a large number of officers in the weeks ahead.

Photo via Masagos Zulkifli/Facebook

This is because the agencies also need to uphold essential services such as tackling dengue, ensuring water and food security, and managing green spaces in Singapore, among others.

32 fines issued at markets, hawker centres over long weekend

Photo via NEA

In a separate update on Apr. 11, the National Environment Agency (NEA) tallied a total of 32 S$300 fines and 120 written warnings over the long weekend, starting from Apr. 10.

These were issued to members of the public for non-compliance with safe distancing measures, either at or near markets and cooked food sections of hawker centres.

Police assistance was required for about 28 cases, where members of the public were not cooperative.

Top image via Masagos Zulkifli/Facebook