Entertainment outlets caught flouting Covid-19 rules during police raids

The raids were part of a joint enforcement operation led by the Central Police Division. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Several public entertainment spots were raided this week as police stepped up enforcement against Covid-19 breaches, ahead of a pilot programme to allow up to 25 nightspots to reopen from next month.

At least one of the establishments appeared to be operating illegally.

Three outlets were found to have broken rules under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, while eight people were investigated for breaching safe distancing measures.

The raids on Wednesday (Nov 11) were part of a joint enforcement operation led by the Central Police Division.

The Straits Times accompanied the police team on its operation, which covered public entertainment outlets in Aliwal Street, Temple Street, Beach Road, Syed Alwi Road and South Bridge Road.

At a nightclub in Aliwal Street, police officers had to force their way through the entrance, which was locked by the occupants.

In a statement on Friday, the police said that during the raid, eight people were investigated for allegedly gathering in a group of more than five individuals.

A total of 30 women, aged between 22 and 53, were also arrested for employment-related offences.

One of the outlets which breached Covid-19 regulations was found to have also violated liquor licence conditions.

Several public entertainment spots were raided as police stepped up enforcement against Covid-19 breaches. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

The police are continuing with their investigations.

On Wednesday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Gregory Tan said that the operation is part of the police's efforts to stamp out illegal activities and take strong enforcement action against "egregious breaches" of Covid-19 regulations.

"As we go further into phase two, we have seen more outlets operating illegally, as well as more illegal activities happening under the guise of legitimate eateries that have been allowed to operate," he said.

As part of measures to combat the pandemic, entertainment outlets have been closed since March 27.

Those with licences that allow them to operate as food and beverage establishments have since reopened, albeit with restrictions on group sizes and a 10.30pm curb on alcohol sales.

And up to 25 nightspots will be able to reopen from next month with strict safe management measures in place, as part of a pilot programme announced by the Government on Nov 6.

The pilot for pubs and bars is expected to kick off next month, with selected establishments subject to the same rules as restaurants.

Karaoke joints and nightclubs that are chosen for the programme are expected to reopen next January. They will be required to have in place measures such as having patrons wear masks on the dance floor and show proof of negative Covid-19 tests before entering.

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