September 26, 2023


Savvy business masters

In pictures: Safe distancing in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Nowadays, X marks the spot where you cannot sit and Singaporeans are being told to mind the gap between one another, all in the name of safe distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19.

On Mar 20, the Ministry of Health announced a slew of safe-distancing measures for public venues. For instance, operators of F&B outlets have to keep a metre’s distance between tables and seats and retail stores and restaurants have to keep queues fast-moving, yet demarcate spots so customers stand at least a metre apart from another. Malls and supermarkets remain open but with reduced capacity.

Business owners who flout the rules risk a hefty fine of up to S$10,000 and jail under regulations which kicked in on Friday. 

CNA visited several malls, eateries and shops and saw people largely abiding by the safe-distancing rules. Where there was an occasional slip-up, wait staff and shop assistants would gently remind patrons to stand behind markers. 

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Public benches at Orchard Gateway mall marked for safe distancing on Thursday (March 26) (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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Patrons at the usually busy food court at People’s Park Centre sit spaced out. Authorities say friends and family can sit together in groups fewer than 10, but are advised to keep a distance from other groups. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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Furnishing giant IKEA rolled out safe-distancing markers as a reminder to shoppers to stand apart even on the escalator. It has similar stickers for queueing lines around its stores. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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Safe-distancing markers for people waiting in line to enter IKEA Alexandra, on Saturday (March 29). (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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Stickers for safe-distancing at a cafe. Minister Lawrence Wong said the new rules “will bring about inconveniences for everyone” and will impact local businesses especially F&B outlets which are already facing difficulties. He advised people to support their favourite hawker stalls and restaurants but to take away food if these places are full. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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A sign telling people not to share tables at a bar in Don Don Donki at Orchard Central. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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Red tape is seen marking alternate seats that are not for use at People’s Park Complex Food Centre. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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Markers for customers to stand in line for the cashier at a pet shop at Plaza Singapura. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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Alternate tables sealed off at a Toast Box cafe in Chinatown Point. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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