Coronavirus: Access to popular parks, beaches will be closed if too crowded; 2 bars suspended for violating safe distancing rules

Over the past few weekends, crowds were observed at selected stretches of the beach at East Coast Park. PHOTO: NPARKS

SINGAPORE - Popular public spaces such as parks and beaches will be temporarily closed off as they approach capacity limits, to manage crowds there.

Carparks serving these areas may also be selectively closed, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release on Friday (July 24).

These are part of enhanced crowd control measures that will be put in place at some hot spots where there was crowding and poor adherence to safe distancing measures.

Over the past few weekends, crowds were observed at selected stretches of the beach at East Coast Park, with many in groups of more than five individuals and without proper safe distancing, the ministry said.

The National Parks Board issued more than 100 fines over the last weekend to individuals who failed to adhere to safe distancing measures at gardens, parks and nature reserves.

Separately, two bars at Circular Road have been suspended and fined for violating safe distancing rules despite earlier warnings, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

Action has been taken against the Los Amigos and Try Again restaurants after groups of more than 5 were observed gathering there despite being issued warnings. PHOTOS: LOS AMIGOS/FACEBOOK, SLEEPING GIANTS/FACEBOOK

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) had taken action against the restaurants, Try Again and Los Amigos, MOH said.

Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling the Covid-19 outbreak, said at a virtual press conference that officials had observed groups of more than five gathering at the restaurants, and this situation persisted even after warnings were issued to them.

The authorities will ramp up enforcement and take firm action against individuals and businesses that breach safe distancing rules, especially at hot spots where the risks of transmission is greater.

These include popular night spots, beaches, selected malls and parks, as well as in housing estates.

Stricter enforcement measures could be put in place if crowds persist at these hot spots, MOH said.

"Everyone must behave responsibly, and have a good understanding of the risks of infection in crowded and close spaces, so that we can avoid a resurgence of cases as has been observed in many other countries with the resumption of more activities," it said.

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