NEA Uses Tapes On Seats For Social Distancing But Confused Customers Thought Seats Were Spoilt

If you were to walk into the hawker centre and saw this:

You’d probably think the seats are spoilt.

And if you were to look up from that seat, you’d realise that every alternate seat in the entire hawker centre is spoilt.

Image: KnowYourMeme

But before you take a picture and share it to social media and blast NEA for that 3 minutes of fame, know this:

The Seats Have No Problem

In case you didn’t know, Singapore has implemented new measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore.

One of which is social distancing measures, which you can read more about here.

Essentially, F&B venues are asked to seat their customers at least 1-metre apart to reduce the spread of the virus.

Now, if it was Eighteen Chefs, it’ll be easily accomplished since all they need to do is to rearrange the tables.

But for hawker centres with fixed seatings like these? They have to get a little more creative.

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Taping The Seats

Like my army encik always say, there’s no problem that cannot be solved with tape; if you can’t solve it, it means you’re not using enough tapes.

Spoken like a true admirer of Maria Ozawa.

Well, it seems like NEA is catching on to the idea of using tapes because they’re now using tapes at some hawker centres to mark out seats that shouldn’t be sat on.

There was even a notice to inform patrons about the new initiative.

Unfortunately, Not Everybody Got The Memo

Some thought the seats were spoilt and avoided them. Others tried their luck, and upon realising that the seat works, sat on it anyway.

The owner of a noodle stall at Pasir Ris Hawker Centre said he still sees people sitting anywhere they like.

A patron also pointed out that the notice to inform people was too small, and that it would be better if NEA had pasted a notice on every table.

And there are also those who don’t believe this will work, pointing out that people who come in a group prefer to sit together.

Only if they come alone, or in a pair, would you probably see some social distancing happening.

NEA: It’s Just A Trial

According to Todayonline, NEA said that the taped seats only serves as a guideline for people on where to sit during this period when eating at the hawker centre.

They clarified that they are only trying this system of marking seats out at a few hawker centres.

Depending on the effectiveness of this trial and feedback from members of the public, they’ll decide if more tapes will be unleashed on the hawker centres of Singapore.


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“While our hawker centres can be crowded at peak hours, they are not air-conditioned or enclosed, and are generally well ventilated or of an open dining environment,” they said.

Some Golden Rules To Follow:

While NEA is testing out new guidelines for Singaporeans at hawker centres, here are a couple of things we can do right now to protect ourselves:

And one final one that has nothing to do with hawker centres: don’t travel overseas for non-work-related-purposes because your company might deduct your annual leave for the Stay-Home-Notice or Leave-of-Absence.

Here’s a list of staycation deals happening right now if you truly need a break from work.


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