No exception for those who are not vaccinated to bring children to education, enrichment in shopping malls, unlike childcare, preschool, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – Exceptions will not be made to allow unvaccinated caregivers of children attending classes or enrichment courses to enter malls, unlike those attending childcare and pre-schools.

A spokesman for Enterprise Singapore (ESG) told The Straits Times on Thursday (October 14): “Childcare or preschools are important services usually required of parents who need to return to work.”

Unvaccinated caregivers can make alternative arrangements, for example that a vaccinated person takes the child to class.

They can also choose to get a valid negative pre-event test (PET) result to enter the mall, the spokesman added.

Unvaccinated people will be prevented from entering shopping centers and large independent shops from 20 October under the new vaccination-differentiated rules. Large independent supermarkets are excluded.

Exceptions will be made for those who need access to childcare or medical services within the shopping center, provided they present proof such as a time card or a letter of support.

Children up to the age of 12, unvaccinated persons who have recovered from Covid-19 and those with a negative PET result will also be allowed to enter during the entire activity or service.

Some parents have found the new rules inconvenient. A housewife said she faces at least six weeks’ departure and the pick-up of her two daughters, ages four and seven, at Bukit Timah Plaza for their art and ballet lessons.

The 37-year-old, who did not want to be named, told The Straits Times: “My husband can take my daughters to school but not to their ballet and art lessons. It’s inconvenient because only I can get to malls to let my daughters go. or buy food now. “

She said that other shopping centers have also denied entry to her husband, although the unvaccinated are still allowed to enter the shopping centers for a week from 13 to 19 October.

When ST visited United Square on Thursday, unvaccinated people were allowed to enter.

But because he did not want to risk his unvaccinated wife being denied entry, Nicholas Lee told her to wait in the car while he bought lunch. She ended up waiting an hour and a half.

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Lee, who was with his brother, nephew and son, said: “My wife has just received her first shot but has to wait three weeks for her second sting and then another two weeks to be considered fully vaccinated. So she can go to malls only after more than a month later. “

The Helpdesk specialist, 34, added that he will need to be the sole caregiver for their three children, aged four and younger, when they leave.

He said: “It’s not easy because the children like to run around … The children will sometimes want their mother, but she can not be with them in the malls now, and it will be difficult to calm them down.

“My wife feels left out. It’s inconvenient, especially when we need to get necessities in malls, but it can not be helped.”

Buyers say they are helping tenants and the general public familiarize themselves with the new processes.

UOL, which manages United Square, Velocity @ Novena Square and Kinex, said it has distributed a circular to all its tenants about the new requirements and has made alternative arrangements for tenants with unvaccinated staff and those who may need to pick up their children under 12.

More staff have also been deployed at key entry points in their shopping centers during peak periods, and it is also working with tenants to see if a fixed format for certificates is needed that some unvaccinated people must show before entering the malls.

The spokesman said: “Although the roll-out period has been challenging, we will continue to work closely with the authorities to implement the new policy as part of efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19 in society.”

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Lendlease Singapore’s head of asset management, Jenny Khoo, said it aims to implement the full action from October 20 and will use additional labor at the points of entry to its shopping centers, which include Parkway Parade, 313 @ Somerset and Jem.

Mr Ng Yihang, head of marketing and communications at The Learning Lab, said some of its students and parents may face challenges with the new rules.

The Education and Enrichment Center offers programs for those as young as preschoolers and has branches in malls such as United Square and Jem.

He said: “We are currently fine-tuning alternatives that we hope will be helpful to these students and parents as we work to keep our students’ learning as good as possible.”

New rules preventing unvaccinated people from eating at hawker centers and cafes started on Wednesday (October 13).

Secure distance officers were seen conducting inspections at some hawker centers, including Pek Kio Market and Food Center and Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Market and Food Center.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission is required for reproduction.

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