188 people caught flouting Covid-19 rules in hawker centres at the weekend

Hong Lim Market and Food Centre was among the places where people were caught flouting safe management rules. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - A total of 188 people were caught by the police and National Environment Agency (NEA) officers for breaching safe management measures at hawker centres from last Friday to Sunday (Oct 1 to 3).

During enforcement action on the first weekend of increased restrictions on dining out, officers found the offenders gathering in groups of more than two or not maintain a safe distance of 1m.

Others did not wear a mask, had pulled their mask down or continued to drink alcohol past 10.30pm, NEA said in a statement on Monday.

Offenders can be fined $300 for the first offence, and $1,000 the second time. Since August, nearly 500 fines have been issued for such breaches, NEA said.

Among the places where people were caught flouting safe management rules were Newton Food Centre, Whampoa Food Centre, Haig Road Market and Food Centre, Golden Mile Food Centre, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre and Tekka Centre.

On Sunday, six Singaporeans died from complications linked to the coronavirus, and there were 2,057 new infections reported.

Group sizes for dining out were cut to two last Monday to buy breathing room for hospitals, where 1,337 Covid-19 patients are warded.

Of these, the Ministry of Health said, 250 require oxygen support, and there are 35 in the intensive care unit.

NEA said: "Strict adherence to safe management measures protects everyone. While 98 per cent of stallholders and their assistants at markets and hawker centres are vaccinated, we call on all stakeholders to remain vigilant."

It also urged seniors to order food to take away instead of dining in or ask household members do so on their behalf, if possible.

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