Singapore—Just a few days before the lifting of circuit breaker restrictions which was scheduled for June 1, long queues were seen at Lucky Plaza, leading to questions and concerns from netizens about public health and safety.
On Sunday, (May 31), a sizable crowd was observed at Lucky Plaza, albeit in an orderly line, at least at the beginning. And while many people were in a small space at the same time, there was a distance between the people who had lined up, and they were wearing masks.
Part of the reason for the long line was that there was only one entrance to the building at the time.
On Reddit, a netizen posted a photo of the crowd of people on Sunday morning on r/singapore/, with the following caption: “What circuit breaker? Morning crowd at Lucky Plaza 😲”
People commenting on the Reddit post quickly pointed out that since it was the end of the month, people must be remitting money back home. Many families of overseas workers are more dependent on remittances than ever, especially because the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies all across the globe.
Many have questioned why Lucky Plaza seems to be very popular among Singapore’s migrant workers since there are many other remittance centers across the country. It seemed counterproductive, a netizen pointed out, to wait so long for one’s turn.
A Redditor answered by saying that people seem to be happy with the rates at Lucky Plaza. “They offer slightly better rates due to competition there. Depends (sic) how much you remit, some might not find it worthwhile to make the trip there.”
Others commented seeing people wearing their masks only over their chins, and not their mouths and noses, as one woman in the photo was seen talking on the phone with the mask pulled down over her chin.
Some netizens were displeased to see the crowd. “And we wonder why there are still 0-5 “Community” cases every day,” one wrote.
Another reported that when the crowd had swelled and safe distancing rules were being breached, the police stepped in for crowd control.
“Ya it was pretty messy, I was doing food delivery from Lucky Plaza. First arrival at 1050, the queue had stretched from the main entrance to the carpark entrance and then along the sidewalk beside the carpark entrance and back to the main entrance. Like one long snake liddat. (sic) No safe distancing 1m whatsoever. When I came out of there (got to cut queue bc food delivery), the police were shouting at ppl to maintain 1m.
When I went back there again at 1150, the police were chasing everyone away from the frontage of Lucky Plaza and not letting anyone walk past the first floor (essentially they blocked off the entire access path from Tangs to Paragon) , so end up everyone clusterf**ked outside Tangs.”
Netizens made suggestions to avoid this kind of crowding, one of them being for employers to allow their workers to leave for one day in the week. Another suggested that the Ministry of Manpower mandate employers to space out domestic workers’ days off, instead of them all getting Sundays off. —/TISG