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Coronavirus: Delivery riders, cabbies can eat at void decks, parks if they can't head home

Coronavirus: Delivery riders, cabbies can eat at void decks, parks if they can't head home
A taxi driver having his meal off the back of his taxi on April 8, 2020.

SINGAPORE - Taxi drivers and food delivery riders can eat at public spaces or in their vehicles if it is not practical for them to head home for meals, the Health Ministry (MOH) clarified on Saturday (April 11).

In an update to the "frequently asked questions" page on its website, the ministry said workers providing essential services should have meals at their work premises while practising safe distancing.

For "selected workers whose work requires them to be on the move", they should return to their offices or homes to eat.


But if this is not practical, MOH said such workers are allowed to eat in their vehicles, or in public spaces such as Housing Board block void decks or park benches.

The update comes after taxi and private-hire car drivers, and food delivery riders told The Straits Times they did not know where to eat during their shifts, after stricter measures banned dining at eateries and hawker centres.

Some resorted to eating off the boot of their vehicle or squatting on the kerb by the road, for fear of breaking the law.

In its Saturday update, MOH said such workers should eat alone and quickly, keep at least a metre apart from others, and leave the public space in a clean state after they are done with their meal.

They must also carry identification that can prove they are employed in their line of work, and be ready to provide it when requested by safe distancing ambassadors, enforcement officers, or police officers.


On Friday, the National Environment Agency had clarified that hawkers can eat at tables immediately in front of their stalls, after confusion among some stall-holders who were afraid to eat at hawker centres for fear of breaking "circuit breaker" rules.

But hawkers must not share tables or gather, and should always maintain a distance of at least 1m from others, the agency added.

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

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