Cabbies, Grab drivers and food delivery riders! You can eat at void decks and parks, so go ahead!

By April 11, 2020Current

TL;DR – Just make sure you eat alone, sit at least one metre away from everyone and bring a work ID!

Day 5 of the 28-day circuit breaker period.

Most have cooperated and stayed home, but there are still some Singaporeans who have openly, defiantly flouted the rules. Over 2000 safe distancing ambassadors (I understand that many are volunteers) have been combing the island, advising people to stay home. Fortunately, most listened. Unfortunately, a few were difficult. From a softer approach of issuing written warning for first offenders, it has escalated to an immediate $300 fine for first offenders from tomorrow (12 April, Sunday).

By and large, most of us are trying to make changes and to adjust. Normal is dead. And we will all have to make some adjustments to our everyday lives in order for things to get better. It takes all of us, so please try. And try harder.

Stay home (unless you work in essential services, then thank you for keeping our city running, sorta!)

And only go out only if you have to see a doctor or to buy essential items. And try and make grocery shopping a weekly affair and not a daily, or worse, a few times a day kinda affair, OK? And mask up when you’re out.

So there has been some confusion about where workers in essential services can eat. We’re referring to those whose work involves running around. I saw a Chinese article on this, and have quickly worked out the rough translation for it.

Do share it around so that these workers have more clarity. And also so that netizens won’t have to snap pics and videos of these workers eating out in the open and posting here, there, everywhere.

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Original article in Chinese: 8视界


Some workers in essential services allowed to have their meals at HDB void decks or parks

For workers in essential services, it may not be convenient or practical to go home or go into an office to have their meals. The authorities have said that they can eat at void deck or park, but they have to eat alone. If there are other people around, they have to observe safe distancing of at least one metre. They should have their work ID with them too.

During this circuit breaker period, only takeaway is allowed. Over the past few days, there was feedback that workers like taxi drivers, private hire vehicle drivers and delivery drivers etc had been unable to find a spot to sit down to have their meals. Some were spotted eating along the road, some at the back of their vehicles.

According to information on MOH website, workers in essential services should have their meals at their workplace, and practise safe distancing when doing so. For those whose job nature requires them to run around, then they should try to return home or go back to office for meals.

In the event this cannot be done, then the workers can eat in their vehicles, or eat at public spaces like HDB void deck, parks, etc. But they will need to observe some rules:

1) Eat alone and stay at least 1m away from others,
2) Eat as quickly as possible and clean up after that,
3) Have some form of work ID on them in case of checks.

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Foodstall operators can also have their meals at their stalls

The authorities also stated that the employers for essential services have the responsibility to take care of their workers, and to provide space where the workers can have their meals, for instance, staff canteen, pantry area or rest area. They also need to ensure that the workers take their meals alone, and to maintain safe distancing of at least one metre from others.

Employers should also stagger mealtimes for staff to minimise interaction. Workers should also try and finish their meals as quickly as possible, clean up and leave.

For malls or buildings with essential workers, they too can designate a specific area, for instance a section within the mall’s foodcourt, for the workers to take their meals.

In addition, hawkers and helpers at food centres and coffee shops can also eat at the table right in front of their stalls. But they will have to eat alone, and be at least one metre away from everyone else, and not share tables.

(Featured image via FB)



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Gabrielle Teo

Author Gabrielle Teo

I read lots, and I also spend an indecent amount of time trying to get my mostly unpopular opinions published. Oh, I argue a lot with fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore too.

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