STB clarifies safe distancing ambassadors were measuring restaurant's air quality, not noise levels

SDAs carry out a variety of tasks.

Sulaiman Daud | November 18, 2021, 02:43 PM

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If you've seen a tweet making the rounds, supposedly of Safe Distancing Ambassadors (SDAs) measuring the "decibel levels" of a restaurant, the truth is a little bit different.

On Nov. 8, the Multi-Ministry Task Force announced that along with the easing of some dining-in restrictions, food and beverage (F&B) outlets would be able to play "soft recorded music" from Nov. 10, although live music and entertainment will still be banned.

The ban on recorded music, in place since June, was implemented so that diners wouldn't have to raise their voices to be heard, which increases the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Tweet claimed SDAs were measuring "decibel level" in restaurant

On Nov. 14, Twitter user @lim_jialiang shared a photo of what appeared to be two SDAs in an F&B outlet.

One man was raising a device in the air.

@lim_jialiang then claimed that the man was "measuring the decibel level of (the) restaurant".

Screenshot from Twitter.

The tweet was fairly popular, gaining nearly 450 retweets, 100 quote tweets and 1,000 likes as of Nov. 18.

Most of the responses appeared to chide the Singapore government for carrying out what they deemed were extreme measures, with some expressing negative sentiments towards the SDAs themselves.

Screenshot from Twitter.

Screenshot from Twitter.

Screenshot from Twitter.

The tweet even gained the attention of a Washington Post editor, Katerina Ang.

Screenshot from Twitter.

SDAs were not measuring noise level

As it turns out, the SDAs were not measuring "decibels" or sound levels in the restaurant at all.

A tweet from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Nov. 16, replying to @lim_jialiang, clarified that the SDAs were there to measure air quality instead, as part of a study.

Screenshot from Twitter.

@lim_jialiang responded, thanking STB for the reply.

He asked them if it was true that SDAs were using phone applications to measure noise levels in restaurants, but did not appear to receive a public reply to that question.

Both STB's clarification tweet and @lim_jialiang's response garnered rather fewer responses and retweets than the original.

STB's tweet only had six retweets, two quote tweets, and 15 likes as of Nov. 18.

Top image from Twitter.

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