Mar 27, 2020
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Part of the measures is the mandate for malls and standalone stores to minimise overcrowding by limiting the number of people in their respective premises, especially during peak periods.

Starting 27 March 2020 (Friday), malls need to take steps in order to limit the number of shoppers on their properties, as the Singapore government announced stricter safe distancing measures, reported Today.

Part of the measures is the mandate for malls and standalone stores to minimise overcrowding by limiting the number of people in their respective premises, especially during peak periods. The occupant load must not exceed one person for every 16 sq m of usable space.

Several public agencies, including the Housing and Development Board, the Singapore Tourism Board, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Enterprise Singapore, provided options for such establishments to guarantee compliance with the new requirements.

For instance, malls and standalone stores, such as IKEA and Courts Megastore, may lessen the number of entrances and assign employees to control visitors entering and leaving the premises. Tickets may also be issued to visitors to ensure that they do not breach the allowable capacity.

The allowable number of visitors may be computed using the approved gross floor area (GFA) of the retail component of a shopping centre.

A standalone mall having an approved GFA of 32,000 sq m for the retail component has an allowable capacity of 2,000 individuals at any one time. Non-visitors, like employees of the mall management, term contractors and tenants are not included in the computation.

While the number of people inside must be limited, the reduction of entrances however “should not lead to a congregation of visitors outside the mall”, explained the authorities.

The distance of at least 1m between persons in queues must be maintained, including those outside the premises.

Malls must not also allow groups of more than 10 persons to develop and must “quickly disperse any such group”, the authorities added.

Furthermore, open atrium sales, promotional activities, as well as busking or live music performances must be suspended as these lead patrons to congest. Bars, tuition centres, entertainment venues, and enrichment classes must likewise be closed.

The authorities emphasized that the enforcement of such measures will be strict, and non-compliance thereto is an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act.

“In addition, existing levers under the Infectious Diseases Act, including the temporary suspension of operators, may be used against persons and operators who do not comply with the regulations,” they warned.

Offenders may also be jailed up to six months, fined up to $10,000, or both.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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