Banana Leaf Apolo to be charged with breaching Covid-19 measures, 11 more F&B outlets penalised

Banana Leaf Apolo will be charged with breaching multiple safe management measures, including having a self-service buffet at its Little India Arcade outlet.
Banana Leaf Apolo will be charged with breaching multiple safe management measures, including having a self-service buffet at its Little India Arcade outlet.PHOTO: THEBANANALEAFAPOLO.COM
Wangzi Music Restaurant in New Bridge Road allowed diners to consume alcohol at 2.30am on Feb 6, 2021.
Wangzi Music Restaurant in New Bridge Road allowed diners to consume alcohol at 2.30am on Feb 6, 2021.PHOTO: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

SINGAPORE - Indian restaurant chain the Banana Leaf Apolo will be charged in court next week with breaching multiple safe management measures, including having a self-service buffet at its Little India Arcade outlet.

The restaurant chain will be charged in court on Feb 17 over failing to ensure that the gathering of individuals on its premises did not exceed the maximum group size allowed, not enforcing at least 1m of safe distancing between seated customers, for providing a self-service buffet of food for consumption, and for allowing customers to make speeches and play a video recording in the outlet.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) filed a Magistrate's Complaint on Jan 20 against Banana Leaf Apolo for multiple breaches under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

The outlet was ordered to close last year for 10 days from Oct 26 to Nov 4, for flouting the measures.  

STB then conducted further investigations and referred the case to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for prosecution.

The authorities stepped up inspections at food and beverage premises, malls and other public spaces over the past week to ensure compliance with safe management measures during the Chinese New Year period.

The ministry said 102 individuals and 12 F&B premises were penalised for breaches during the week.

Among these, six F&B outlets have been ordered to close, while five outlets and 29 people were fined for breaching safe management measures, said the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) in a press release on Wednesday (Feb 10).

A total of 73 individuals were also issued fines for breaching Covid-19 regulations at parks and beaches.

As a result of the ramped-up enforcement, crowd size in Chinatown has also shrunk by about 20 per cent compared with the week before, as the enhanced crowd control measures started last Friday, added the ministry.

The F&B outlets ordered to close included Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant at 200 Turf Club Road, which allowed a company dinner gathering of 65 people in its restaurant on Feb 6. The guests were seated across nine tables.

East Treasure Chinese Restaurant in River Valley Road accepted a group of 16 diners on Jan 29, who were seated across two tables. Investigations revealed that the gathering was a dinner organised by a company for its employees. Both the company and 16 diners will be fined $1,000 and $300 each, respectively.

Crystal Jade Jiang Nan at VivoCity accepted a booking for 16 diners from different households and seated them across two tables on Feb 6. Investigations are ongoing.


(Clockwise from top left) Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant at 200 Turf Club Road, Crystal Jade Jiang Nan at VivoCity, Zam Zam at North Bridge Road and East Treasure Chinese Restaurant at River Valley Road. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE LAND AUTHORITY, ENTERPRISE SINGAPORE, URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

These three restaurants will be closed for 10 days from Wednesday till Feb 19.

Ding Garden in New Bridge Road which allowed 13 diners from different households who sat across three tables on Feb 5 has been ordered to close from Feb 6 to 15. The 13 diners, who arrived together, were fined $300 each for gathering in a group larger than eight.

Wangzi Music Restaurant in New Bridge Road allowed diners to consume alcohol at 2.30am on Feb 6. It has been ordered to close for 20 days from Feb 6 to 25.


Ding Garden in New Bridge Road allowed 13 diners from different households to sit across three tables on Feb 5, 2021. PHOTO: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

Zam Zam in North Bridge Road seated different groups of diners less than 1m apart on Feb 5. The outlet had committed two previous offences in May and December last year and was fined $1,000 and $2,000 respectively. For its February breach, the restaurant has to close from Feb 9 to 18.

Four other F&B outlets were fined $1,000 each , and one outlet was fined $2,000 for repeat offences of seating groups of diners less than 1m apart.

They are: Chuan Garden at 1 Pagoda Street; Eating House at Upper Cross Street and Jalan Membina; Kim's Family Food Korea Restaurant at Telok Ayer Street; and Sichuan Restaurant at 72 Pagoda Street.

Multiple table bookings at F&B outlets for groups larger than eight are strictly prohibited, unless the diners are from the same household. Intermingling across different tables is not allowed.

In addition, a total of 73 people were fined $300 each for flouting safe management measures on Feb 6 and 7 in parks and beaches. These breaches included gathering in groups of more than eight people and intermingling between groups. In Changi Beach Park alone, 39 individuals were fined, including 17 who were caught gathering in one group.


In Changi Beach Park alone, 39 individuals were fined, including 17 who were caught gathering in one group. PHOTO: NATOINAL PARKS BOARD

Since Feb 5, enhanced crowd control measures in Chinatown include not turning on the Chinatown Chinese New Year street light-up from Feb 5 to 7, and deploying more safe distancing ambassadors and enforcement officers on the ground.

The STB will continue to work with the relevant agencies to monitor the situation in Chinatown, and will adjust measures accordingly.

The MSE urged members of the public to plan visits to Chinatown and other potentially crowded areas such as shopping malls, F&B outlets, markets, supermarkets and parks, during off peak hours.

"This will help mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission during the festive period and keep us all safe," said the ministry.

Households are currently limited having to eight unique visitors a day. Each person should also limit themselves to visiting at most two other households per day. For the tossing of yusheng during Chinese New Year, masks must be worn and the lo hei should be done without any verbalisation of the auspicious phrases or toasting.