Youth fined $11,000 for flouting Covid-19 stay-home order, meeting friend during circuit breaker

Gorden Wong Jun Yuan had flouted the rules on at least four occasions to socialise with his friend and for a haircut.
Gorden Wong Jun Yuan had flouted the rules on at least four occasions to socialise with his friend and for a haircut.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A 20-year-old was fined $11,000 on Thursday (Sept 2) for breaching his Covid-19 orders to stay home after he was diagnosed with an upper respiratory tract infection, and for meeting his friend during the circuit breaker last April.

Gorden Wong Jun Yuan had flouted the rules on at least four occasions to socialise with his friend and for a haircut. This happened between April and May last year.

He was a full-time national serviceman at the time. He did not test positive for Covid-19.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to two charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, one under the Infectious Diseases (Covid-19 Stay Orders) Regulations 2020 and another under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Another seven similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Wong went to Bukit Merah Polyclinic on April 15 last year, as he had a dry cough, sore throat and runny nose.

He was given a medical certificate (MC) for five days and told not to leave home during that period.

But he left his home the next day to smoke and make video calls to his friends.

On May 4 last year, when the circuit breaker was still in force, he met up with a friend to buy food and drinks at a supermarket and for a smoke.

Singapore had imposed the circuit breaker between April 7 and June 1 last year to curb the growing number of Covid-19 cases. During that period, people were allowed to leave home only for essential activities.

On May 15 last year, Wong visited the polyclinic again, as he had similar symptoms, and was given a five-day MC with an order to stay home.

Two days later, however, he met up his friend to drink beer and smoke in the Telok Blangah area where he lived.

He left home again on May 19 last year to get a haircut.

Wong was caught after his reporting officer at the Singapore Civil Defence Force realised that he had not been home during the period of his medical leave and reported him to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

For each offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, Wong could have been jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.