Walking around aimlessly in a shopping mall is, for some unknown reason, one of the most popular pastimes of the 21st-century citizen.
We go there with our friends and family with no intention of purchasing anything, but end up with two bags filled with clothes and a kooky fridge magnet from Typo.
When we have nothing to read, nothing to watch, or no one to hang out with, there’s always a mall out there calling our name.
Come to me child, come to me and spend irresponsibly.
Unfortunately, malls may not be as open as they used to be; they might even start shutting you out.
But don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s them (or rather, Covid-19).
Malls & Shops in S’pore Now Have a Limit on How Many People Can Be In at One Time
As part of the stricter safe distancing measures announced earlier this week, malls and standalone stores in Singapore will now have a limit on how many people can be admitted at one time.
This means that the next time you go to Ikea for those delicious meatballs, you might be denied entry because there are too many other hungry Singaporeans gobbling down those brown Swedish delights.
According to TODAYonline, these malls and standalone stores may now have to reduce the number of entrances and deploy employees to control visitors entering and leaving the premises.
In other words, malls like VivoCity might soon have a bouncer.
They could also issue tickets to visitors to ensure that the numbers do not exceed the allowable capacity.
But how is the capacity calculated?
This is where it gets a little tricky.
The allowable capacity can be computed using the approved gross floor area (GFA) of a shopping centre’s retail component.
So, for instance, a mall with an approved GFA of 32,000 sqm for the retail component will have an allowable visitor capacity of 2,000 persons at any one time.
Don’t worry if these numbers are giving you traumatic flashbacks of maths exams, the important calculations will be left to the mall and store owners.
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Non-visitors, such as employees of the mall management, tenants and term contractors, would not be included in the visitor capacity computation, of course.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can release your inner Singaporean and start crowding outside these malls, raring to go in.
The authorities said that the reduction of the number of entrances “should not lead to a congregation of visitors outside the mall”.
So, while we could crowd outside A&W in the past while waiting for a seat, we can’t even do that now.
Yes, Covid-19 is even taking away our ability to be kiasu.
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There also has to be a 1m spacing between people standing in queues; inside and out.
And since malls are not supposed to allow groups of more than 10 persons to form, you can kiss atrium sales and promotional activities goodbye.
Singaporean: *drops bubble tea and 4D tickets to the floor* Now you’ve gone too far, Covid-19
Busking, live music performances, or any activity that encourages people to “congregate” will also be suspended.
Part of stricter measures
This forced reduction in crowds is part of stricter social distancing measures introduced on 24 March.
These measures will be in place until 30 April.
Bars and entertainment venues like cinemas and night clubs will be closed.
All centre-based tuition and enrichment classes and religious services will also be suspended.
Yes, everything is closing down before our eyes.
To avoid getting hurt in the future, dear reader, I advise suspending all hopes of finding contentment in anything that lies outside the walls of your house for the next few months.
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