Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 06/18/2013 20:36 | By Channel NewsAsia

Business at restaurants, sports activities affected by haze

Business at restaurants, sports activities affected by haze

Business at restaurants, sports activities affected by haze

SINGAPORE: Business at some restaurants has been affected due to the haze -- especially for those offering outdoor seating.

Managing director at Suki Group of Restaurants, Kelvin Ong, said: "I think over the years, we have had such experiences, especially for those outlets that have al-fresco dining. Customers actually refuse to sit at the al-fresco areas.

"We are about 20 per cent down, especially when we've got a full-house in the air-con area. So the customers don't want to sit at the al-fresco area. They were telling us that while they were eating, they can smell something burning."

Restaurants are also making preparations for hazy conditions, such as providing information on the haze to their staff and advising them to drink more water.

Some restaurants have also installed air purifying systems in their outlets.

At the Renn Thai restaurant in Clarke Quay, Manager Mary Ann said it is business as usual, although there have been more requests for seats indoors.

She said: "In the past few days, our business this week compared to the other weeks, is the same. Actually, it was more brisk (on Monday)... Most of our customers, 80 to 90 per cent of our customers are tourists. Some people thought it was fog."

Monday's high haze levels also affected Singaporeans taking part in outdoor sports activities.

Among the measures taken -- cutting short training sessions, or staying indoors.

The Balestier Khalsa football team continued training on Monday night, despite the thick haze. However, the normal two-hour session was shortened.

S Thavaneson, chairman of Balestier Khalsa, said: "Like (on Sunday), the smell alone, the haziness was bad, so we cut short training, kept training to about 30 to 40 minutes only. Because we know training under such conditions, 35 to 40 minutes is as good as training an-hour-and-a-half."

When Channel NewsAsia visited Toa Payoh Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, a few brave souls were still in action. But some were cautious, avoiding the outdoors.

Justun Koh, an athlete, said: "We change it more to exercise, biometric and more of mobility instead of running, because we take in less of the dirty (air), the haze."

The gym at the complex also saw heavy use on Monday.

Fitness enthusiast Jacqueline Lee said: "I am very much affected by the haze because the level is more than the usual, it is very unhealthy actually. I am actually an outdoor user, I use to run outdoors but because the haze situation is so bad, I had to do my running indoors."

The Singapore Sports Council has placed notices at its facilities, reminding those with health problems to take extra precautions. - CNA/ac

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