SINGAPORE – On Tuesday (May 12) home bakeries, hair salons, TCM halls, laundry services and a few other businesses were allowed to reopen after an almost three-week-long hiatus.
As seen in a short clip on YouTube from The Straits Times, there were at least two men having their hair cut, while another 10 were waiting in line for their turn at the Snip Avenue salon located at Bishan Street 13. And they weren’t the only ones seeing customers lining up for a trim.
A straightstimes.com article that showed the YouTube clip also shared that many other neighbouring salons had regulars calling in to make appointments after they heard about the easing of certain circuit breaker measures that had originally been put into place last April 22.
Of course, along with certain businesses being allowed to reopen come a number of restrictions and safety guidelines that they must follow. These restrictions include the use of the government-backed system called SafeEntry that records the goings-on of businesses, tracking individuals that come in and out, as well as the company employees, mostly for the purposes of contact tracing.
Although some salon personnel are worried about the fact that they can only open for basic services like shampoos and haircuts. As mentioned in the article, manager of De What’s Beauty and Salon, 47-year old Ms J.J. Loke shared, “There will be limited income from just washing and cutting hair.”
Meanwhile, there has also been an increase for home-based food businesses, but they must have contactless delivery or an appointment-based collection to secure safety for all parties involved, as well as cashless payments. These businesses must also use the TraceTogether app, also a government-backed programme that will allow quick contact tracing when necessary.
23-year old Adeline Tan, who owns Deebakes, is more than happy to be able to start up her home-based food business once again. She shared with straitstimes.com that “It doesn’t feel great to be the only one in your family not working. I felt very useless, so I was looking forward to finally baking again and earning some income.”
Another home-based food business, Halwa Bakes, owned by 27-year old Anisah Shahab also cited that she has seen a major increase in orders, notably right before the ending of Ramadan or Hari Raya, which is at the end of the month. Ms Shahab shared, “I’d say the demand is even more than I can meet. These coming weeks are going to be really busy for me to fulfil orders.”
TCM halls are another business allowed to open up to customers, many of which saw their usual customers coming to purchase goods. For two stores on Clementi Avenue 2, rather than allowing the public to enter the premises, they chose to sell their items through the gate openings of their store.
According to The Straits Times, one employee of Ban Joo Tong Medical Hall, Madam Yang, explained why they decided to do business this way. Ms Yang shared, “Of course this might affect our business, but at this point, if we all do our part, we won’t have to worry so much,” speaking about the high-risk seniors that often frequent their stores.
Apparently, some customers were quite happy that TCM shops have chosen to run their businesses this way. In Wan Seng Medical Hall, one customer that only wanted to be referred to as Mr Xie, says he agrees with these types of safety measures. He iterated, “I think it’s good that they are managing the crowd like this. I came down to stock up on medication because I’m so scared of the virus.” And at least this way, he can be further reassured that both the government and these reopened establishments are doing everything they can to help stop the spread of Covid-19. / TISG