117 people fined for breaching Covid-19 curbs since start of phase 3; Orchard Hotel ordered to suspend bookings

Orchard Hotel has also been fined and ordered to suspend bookings after enforcement officers found 11 people gathered in a room for a birthday celebration.
Orchard Hotel has also been fined and ordered to suspend bookings after enforcement officers found 11 people gathered in a room for a birthday celebration.PHOTO: KHALID BABA, LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - As many as 17 people were found together at one beach and 13 at another. They were among the 117 people fined for breaching safe management measures, such as limits on group sizes, at parks and beaches, since the start of phase three (heightened alert) on June 14.

The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said on Friday (June 25) that the breaches also included not wearing masks when not doing strenuous exercises.

The limit for social gatherings went up from two to five on June 14, following a fall in the number of Covid-19 cases in the community.

But last weekend, a group of 17 people were caught at Changi Beach Park, and another group of 13 people were caught at East Coast Park.

MSE said about 1,800 advisories have been issued for breaches.

Orchard Hotel Singapore has also been issued a fine and a suspension order after Singapore Tourism Board enforcement officers found 11 people gathered in a room there for a birthday celebration on Feb 6, MSE said. At that time, no more than eight people were allowed to be together for social gatherings.

The hotel was given a composition fine of $1,000, and was ordered to suspend room bookings for 30 days till July 24. But it will be allowed to fulfil existing bookings made prior to the suspension.

Investigations of the individuals found in the room are ongoing, and enforcement action may be taken against them.

MSE also said all water play areas, water recreational facilities, campsites and barbecue pits in parks and gardens managed by the National Parks Board will remain closed until further notice.

Some parks, sections of beaches, lawns and facilities may also be temporarily closed when these areas get too crowded, or when people do not comply with safe management measures.

MSE said enforcement action will be taken against any breach of safe management measures at these premises and identified hot spots based on public feedback and ground observations. “These include parks, beaches and common areas of Housing Board estates such as hardcourts, basketball courts and pavilions,” it added.

MSE said agencies will continue to ramp up checks on food and beverage premises over the coming weekends. Operators who breach safe management measures face closures, even for first offences.

Rumours Beach Club in Sentosa has hired a third-party security company to assist safe distancing ambassadors, even though the club’s revenues have dropped by about half.

The general manager of the club, Mr Romy Sastranegara, said: “We serve alcohol, so sometimes it can get difficult for customers who have had a few drinks to comply with safe management measures, such as putting on masks when they move around. It is easier for our staff to serve customers if we have another team that focuses on enforcing safe management measures.”

He also said it was important to encourage employees to get vaccinated, given that they interact with many unmasked customers daily. Almost 40 per cent of the staff have done so.