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Designated areas in community centres set aside for essential workers to eat at

SINGAPORE – Function rooms and sports halls in some community centres have been set aside as designated eating areas for essential workers such as private hire drivers and safe distancing ambassadors, following a ban on dining in at eateries and restaurants till June 13.

Community centres taking part include Braddell Heights, Kampong Kembangan, Kampong Ubi, Toa Payoh East, and Woodlands.

Several members of parliament (MPs) have posted these spaces on Facebook, including Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, fellow Marine Parade GRC MP Seah Kian Peng and Sembawang GRC MP Mariam Jaafar.

In his post on Monday (May 17), Mr Tan said: “With our recent changes in SMM for dine-ins due to the increase in community cases, many of our fellow Singaporeans who continue to support us during this time find it difficult to have a place to rest or consume their meals.”

Safe distancing ambassador Karen Lee appreciated the initiative.

Over her lunch at Braddell Heights CC on Wednesday, Ms Lee, 44, said: “This is the only place out of public view that we can eat at. We are advising people not to consume food outside. So, to avoid unnecessary remarks, I prefer to eat at a designated area.

“During the circuit breaker last year, before we were arranged places to eat at, we had to find a void deck and quickly finish our food.”

Fellow ambassador Chan S.K., 44, echoed her sentiments. He has been eating lunch at Braddell Heights CC since Monday.

“Sometimes, the residents in the area we patrol recognise us. We are going around telling them to wear their masks and practise social distancing. We don’t want them to fault us for it,” said Mr Chan.

Parking warden Kohgulan Sivalingam, 35, who was eating in the designated area at Kampong Ubi CC for the first time, enjoyed the air-conditioning.

“I feel safer and I find it more convenient. It’s a nice place to eat at and relax. If I’m stationed near a community centre in the future, I will want to eat in these designated rooms,” he said.

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