$3k fine for East Ocean Teochew Restaurant for third breach of Covid-19 measures

East Ocean Teochew Restaurant was convicted of breaching Covid-19 measures and fined $3,000. PHOTO: EAST OCEAN TEOCHEW RESTAURANT

SINGAPORE - A popular restaurant at Ngee Ann City has been hit with a fine after it allowed a group of 11 guests from different households to dine together in January this year, flouting Covid-19 regulations that limited group sizes to five people.

The Chinese New Year reunion gathering was found out three weeks later, when safe distancing enforcement officers inspected the establishment's bookings.

On Thursday, East Ocean Teochew Restaurant was convicted of breaching Covid-19 measures and fined $3,000.

The restaurant had flouted Covid-19 control orders on two previous occasions.

At the time of the latest offence, group sizes for dining at restaurants were capped at five people as Singapore emerged from an outbreak caused by the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus.

The court heard that operations manager Lai Yoong Chong and his manager Ho Yan Min were in charge of the restaurant at the time of the dinner on Jan 31.

The establishment occupies a unit on the fifth floor of Ngee Ann City.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Cheng You Duen said that about three weeks after the dinner, a team of safe distancing enforcement officers from the Singapore Tourism Board inspected the restaurant and checked its reservations list.

They spotted a booking by a customer Chang Pei Ching for a group of 11 customers seated across three tables.

Investigations found that the customers were not from the same household.

Mr Ho had accepted the reservation but he and Mr Lai did not check if the customers were from the same household before allowing them into the premises.

Seeking a fine of at least $4,000, DPP Cheng said it was not the establishment's first time running afoul of Covid-19 measures.

In 2021, it was fined $2,000 in July and $1,000 in February for similarly breaching pandemic measures.

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