Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Enforcement of Safe-distancing Measures
Ms Yeo Wan Ling: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) given the approach to enforcements of safe distancing measures, which are the public agencies in charge of deploying safe distancing ambassadors and enforcement officers in community hotspots (including basketball courts and playgrounds) and in residential estates; (b) how frequent and extensive are safe-distancing patrolling efforts within residential areas; and (c) whether the enforcement agencies are cross-sharing reported cases from the community on the flouting of safe distancing rules.
To curb the transmission of COVID-19 in the community, around 3,000 Safe Distancing Ambassadors (SDAs) and Enforcement Officers (EOs) from more than 15 agencies are deployed daily to enforce Safe Distancing Measures (SDMs) and Safe Management Measures (SMMs) at various premises and public spaces, with more being deployed during peak hours and weekends.
Of these, about half are deployed at residential estates every day by agencies such as Housing & Development Board, National Parks Board, Sport Singapore, National Environment Agency and Singapore Food Agency. Working with limited resources, the agencies consider several factors in their deployment such as crowd levels, types of activities and operational effectiveness.
The agencies meet regularly to coordinate operational plans and ensure consistency in our enforcement approach. They take a “no wrong door” approach and will refer cases to the appropriate agency for follow up. Agencies also undertake joint operations, such as with the Police to step up enforcement at popular night spots.
COVID-19 remains a serious threat and we must not become complacent, especially in the run-up to Lunar New Year period and during the festive period, which will see an increase in social interactions. We must be disciplined in observing the tightened measures announced on 22 January by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce. While our officers are working hard to ensure the safety of our residents, we cannot rely on enforcement alone; our enforcement officers cannot be everywhere, all the time. All of us need to be socially responsible and do our part to prevent a resurgence in community transmission. Otherwise, all the sacrifices we have made will be in vain. Together, we can keep Singapore safe.