Crowds were seen at various supermarkets islandwide on May 14, following tightened measures announced by the Government today.
The tightened measures, which start from May 16 (this Sunday) to June 13, included limiting social gatherings to a maximum of two people, and disallowing dining in at food and beverage (F&B) venues.
Work-from-home has also become the default again, and many indoor mask-off activities have been banned.
This is the first time since Phase 2 began on Jun. 19, 2020, that such stringent measures have again been implemented in Singapore.
Snaking queues at supermarkets
Mothership went down to various supermarkets on May 14 afternoon, including NTUC Fairprice at Tampines Hub, Northpoint City, Waterway Point, and Bishan Street 13. Snaking queues were observed at a number of supermarkets:
Some members of the public told Mothership that they had actually been planning to buy groceries today, and simply took the chance to stock up for the weekend.
One couple added that they suspected the weekend might only get more crowded, as restrictions kick in.
Another, who was a housewife, admitted that she had come down to get her groceries in case “got lockdown”, after hearing about the new restrictions.
Another customer said that she was there to buy groceries for Hari Raya, given that tomorrow was the last day the five visitors rule would be allowed to pass.
Public urged not to to panic buy
In a Facebook post on May 14, NTUC Fairprice chief executive Seah Kian Peng noted “more traffic” and “bigger purchases” made both in-store and online following the announcement by the Covid-19 Multi-Ministry Taskforce.
Seah assured the public that NTUC remained well-stocked, with inventory at “higher levels than before”.
He added that there was no need to rush to stock up on groceries, and reiterated to only “buy what you need”.
Other supermarket chains, Sheng Siong Supermarket and Giant Singapore, also posted on Facebook to remind people to stay calm and assured that they are well-stocked.
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing also urged members of the public that there is no need to rush to supermarkets to buy groceries or other essentials.
Chan said that all retail outlets, including supermarkets, will remain open and Singapore’s supply lines are intact.
Top image via Syahindah Ishak and Facebook