Coronavirus pandemic

Food delivery riders who breach distancing rules to be blacklisted

Food delivery riders who do not adhere to safe distancing guidelines will be blacklisted for 12 months.

During this period, they will not be allowed to take up any delivery jobs, on top of the penalties that are already in place for everyone else, including a $300 fine for first-time offenders.

Food and beverage operators that allow delivery workers or customers to cluster together at their outlets can also be fined or ordered to suspend operations for failing to comply with safe distancing measures.

Operators should cater for contactless pickup, where possible, to minimise interaction between outlet staff and delivery personnel.

The stiffer measures come amid a surge in demand for food delivery services, said Enterprise Singapore, the Land Transport Authority and the Singapore Food Agency in a joint statement yesterday.

"Following the ban on dining in since April 7, the demand for food delivery services has also increased by about 20 per cent to 30 per cent, and this strong demand is expected to be sustained for a period of time," the agencies said.

"Given the frequent interactions food delivery personnel have with F&B establishments and customers, it is crucial that they comply with the operational guidance on safe distancing measures for businesses providing delivery services to safeguard their own well-being and that of others."

The three major food delivery operators in Singapore - Deliveroo, Foodpanda and GrabFood - are also rolling out more measures like compulsory contactless delivery.

Separately, CapitaLand, the largest mall operator in Singapore with 18 malls, said yesterday it is allowing food delivery riders to eat takeaway food at designated areas.

The dining areas are mostly in foodcourts. Malls without foodcourts have restaurant seating marked as designated eating areas.

"At the designated dining areas, each table can seat only one person and the tables are spread out in accordance with safe distancing guidelines," added the spokesman for CapitaLand.

Food delivery rider Michelle Tan, 26, said she hopes more malls will have dining areas for riders and other workers like taxi drivers.

Ms Tan, who currently eats at stairwells during meal breaks, said: "I feel like a thief every time I do so because I will have to find a corner and people will keep looking at me... There are still a lot of people who think we are breaking the law by eating outside."