All Markets & Hawker Centres Now Require TraceTogether App or Token to Enter

It’s no secret that Singaporeans love eating out at hawker centres.

But we now know that the coronavirus loves hanging out at eateries just as much.

In the past couple of weeks, markets and hawker centres have been the source of many new COVID-19 infections, possibly brought over by fishmongers who visited Jurong Fishery Port.

That’s likely why dining out is not permitted during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) and why the Ministry of Health (MOH) has been giving out free antigen rapid test (ART) kits to visitors of affected markets.

Now, the authorities are taking yet another precaution.

All Markets & Hawker Centres Now Require TraceTogether App or Token to Enter

Heading to the coffee shop to take away a packet of Chicken Rice? Well, you’ll have to bring along your phone or TraceTogether token now.

The National Environmental Agency (NEA) announced yesterday (30 July) that all patrons, stallholders, and stall assistants must use their TraceTogether token or app to tap on the SafeEntry Gateway reader when visiting markets or hawker centres.

Visitors can also check-in by using the app to scan the QR code.

Of course, if no one is stationed at the entry points to perform checks, around 92% of visitors will likely just walk in without checking in.

This is why the NEA, together with town councils, will progressively station personnel at these entry points to assist with the checking-in process. More will be deployed during peak periods like mealtimes.

If you’re wondering how does the TraceTogether App and Token works, check out this video:

Will Facilitate Contact Tracing

The main reason why there was an explosion of cases in the Jurong Fishery Port as well as markets and food centres is that it was hard to track people who visited these places.

As NEA noted, QR codes were previously placed at individual stalls and centre toilets. But as well all know, few visitors scanned these codes to check-in.

Now, with every visitor and worker checking in, contact tracing will be a much less complicated process.

This will allow the authorities to ringfence infections in a cluster quickly before it spirals out of control.

And there’s no escape from this new requirement: there will be temporary fencing around markets and hawker centres, meaning visitors will only have one entry point, where they’ll have to check-in.

Jurong Fishery Port Cluster Almost Surpasses 1,000 Mark

The Jurong Fishery Port, thought to be the source of many infections at markets and food centres, nearly surpassed the 1,000 mark for infections yesterday.

28 new cases were linked to it, bringing its total tally to 999 cases. It remains our biggest active cluster.

The seaport reopened today (31 July) after a two-week closure, with a host of enhanced safe management measures.

This includes:

  • disinfecting fish containers before collection
  • only admitting entry to those who have been tested for COVID-19
  • segregating tenants and workers into groups
  • having unloading activities supervised by safe distancing ambassadors
  • requiring workers to wear masks and gloves when they handle goods

The number of new infections added to the seaport cluster has been declining, so hopefully, the authorities will be able to completely stamp out the virus there sooner rather than later.

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Featured Image: kandl stock /