Patrons of NTUC FairPrice from the Pioneer Generation age bracket will be eligible for a weekly Priority Shopping Hour starting next Mon (30 Mar) in the latest measure introduced by the supermarket chain to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NTUC FairPrice in a Facebook post today said that the Priority Shopping Hour will also include persons with disabilities and pregnant women.
The Priority Shopping Hour will be held every Mon on the first hour of NTUC’s operating hours, or from 7am to 8am for the supermarket chain’s 24-hour stores.
For proof of eligibility, senior citizens may simply present their Pioneer Generation Card to enter the store, while persons with disabilities and pregnant women may inform staff members of their condition at the store entrance.
Pioneer Generation members, said NTUC FairPrice, will also enjoy the same additional discounts from the existing Pioneer Generation Discount Scheme when they shop on Mondays and Wednesdays.
“As the #COVID19 situation continues to evolve, we want to ensure everyone is able to fulfill their needs with us safely. Meanwhile, we encourage all our customers to continue observing the social distancing measures we have implemented in-store, buy only as needed, and stay safe,” said NTUC FairPrice.
While netizens generally appreciated NTUC FairPrice’s introduction of a Priority Shopping Hour, several netizens raised concerns about the timing and duration of the timeslot allocated, as they opined that one hour may be too short a duration for senior citizens and persons with disabilities to do their shopping.
One netizen asked if it is possible for Pioneer Generation seniors and persons with disabilities to have their carers or their next of kin to accompany them during the Priority Shopping Hour, as they may struggle to do their shopping alone.
One netizen questioned why the Merdeka Generation was not included in the Priority Shopping Hour, given that they are also senior citizens.
Pioneer Generation refers to Singapore citizens born on or before 31 Dec 1949 — namely aged 71 and above in 2020, while Merdeka Generation refers to Singapore citizens born from 1 Jan 1950 to 31 Dec 1959 — namely 61 to 70 years old in 2020.
One netizen suggested allocating a priority shopping hour for healthcare workers “to ensure their family is looked after, while they look after the nation”.