SINGAPORE - Seven food and beverage (F&B) outlets in popular nightspots were fined $1,000 each for failing to comply with safe distancing rules over the past weekend.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (Sept 9) said two bars - Le Noir and Coyote Ugly in Clarke Quay - among the seven will also be suspended from Thursday (Sept 10) to Sept 19.
URA added that 17 individuals found breaching the five-person rule at various other food and beverage outlets were also fined, and more are being investigated.
The common breaches at the seven outlets - located in Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, China Square and Tanjong Pagar - from last Friday to Sunday included violating the five-in-a-group rule, and failing to ensure safe distancing of 1m between groups.
Customers across groups were seen inter-mingling and some operators were also found to have knowingly accepted reservations for more than five persons, said the URA in a statement.
A URA spokesman said that safe distancing rules have been clearly communicated to F&B outlets as well as individuals. "There should be no excuse to continue flouting the rules," said the spokesman, stressing that operators are not allowed to accept groups of more than five persons, even when the customers are split into different tables, or in private dining rooms.
It is also an offence for customers to gather in groups of more than five in such outlets.
URA's statement comes after the Ministry of Health's (MOH) announcement on Wednesday that enforcement checks on these establishments will be ramped up.
F&B outlets and diners who breach safe management measures, even for the first time, will also be penalised without warnings, the MOH added.
The ministry said errant establishments will be fined or made to close, depending on the severity of the breaches.
For instance, if multiple breaches of safe management measures are found in any one place, the authorities will order the premises to close and will also bring the case to the Attorney-General's Chambers for possible prosecution, the MOH said.
The tougher move kicks in with immediate effect.