Over 800 diners who are not fully vaccinated found eating at hawker centres in past week

NEA took enforcement actions against 92 individuals who breached the rules between Oct. 15 to 17.

Jason Fan | October 19, 2021, 11:24 PM

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The National Environment Agency (NEA) took enforcement action against 92 individuals between Oct. 15 to 17, for breaches of Safe Management Measures (SMMs) at hawker centres.

Some of the enforcement actions taken against the individuals were for offences such as gathering in groups of more than two, not maintaining a safe distance of at least one metre, and not wearing masks.

Surveillance cameras set up at selected centres

According to NEA, the hawker centres where the offences took place included Newton Food Centre, Whampoa Food Centre, Haig Road Market & Food Centre, Golden Mile Food Centre, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, and Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre.

Individuals gathering in a group of more than two at Tekka Centre. Image via NEA.

Surveillance cameras have been set up by NEA at selected centres to complement the physical monitoring of compliance of SMMs.

NEA sought the public to work with Safe Distancing Ambassadors (SDAs) and Enforcement Officers (SDEO), and said that those who verbally or physically abuse public officers may be charged in court where warranted.

Improper mask-wearing at Tiong Bahru Market. Image via NEA.

Enforcement officers will conduct spot checks

In addition, NEA also said that Vaccination-Differentiated Measures (VDS) have been extended to hawker centres since Oct. 13, and that dine-in at hawker centres is currently limited to fully vaccinated persons.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons can still enter hawker centres, although they may only buy take-away food.

In addition, children aged 12 and below who are unvaccinated can continue to dine at hawker centres.

NEA said that stallholders do not need to check patron's vaccination status, as SDEOs will conduct selective checks of patrons who are dining-in.

Diners can either show enforcement officers their vaccination status on their TraceTogether (TT) App, or provide their TT token to be scanned, to determine their vaccination status.

Enforcement actions to be taken from Oct. 20

According to NEA, SDEOs have taken an advisory approach from Oct. 13 to 19, where unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons who were found to be dining in were urged to finish up their meal and leave the hawker centre promptly.

Thus far, more than 800 diners have been found to have infringed the VDS.

From Oct. 20, enforcement actions will be taken against persons found to have breached VDS at hawker centres, and police assistance will be requested for those who refuse to cooperate with the directions of the SDEOs.

NEA also encouraged seniors to minimise dining activity at hawker centres, and opt for takeaway food instead. In addition, where possible, they are also encouraged to request for household members or neighbours to purchase takeaway food on their behalf.

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Top image via NEA.