Forum: Covid-19 restrictions not being observed at Newton Food Centre

Since the slight easing of rules for Covid-19 control with the start of phase two, Newton Food Centre has attracted many customers, especially at night.

Besides the delicious local cuisine, alcohol is also a big draw every night.

There appears to be little adherence to safe distancing measures. Also, after 10.30pm on a typical weekday, more than 60 patrons can be seen across different tables consuming alcohol, with some gathering in groups of more than five. I have even noticed some consuming alcohol beyond midnight.

On Fridays and weekends, the number of patrons infringing guidelines easily doubles.

I have fed this back to the authorities on several occasions over the last two months, but little appears to have been done to fix the situation.

The actions of these groups of people pose a real risk of new Covid-19 clusters forming.

While most stalls are doing their best to comply with the law by not selling alcohol after 10.30pm, what they (both stallholders and the management of Newton Food Centre) fail to do is to inform patrons that they'll have to cease drinking by 10.30pm, which is the responsibility of liquor licence-holders.

Last week, there were reports of several restaurants and coffee shops being ordered to close after patrons were spotted consuming alcohol on their premises after 10.30pm. So they do have a responsibility to ensure that such consumption ends by 10.30pm.

I hope that the relevant agencies will take firm and decisive action to clamp down on these blatant acts.

Steve Wee Yan Loong