Coronavirus pandemic

Failure to keep 1m apart could result in a fine, jail

Those who intentionally sit down less than 1m away from another person in a public place, or stand in a queue less than 1m away from another person, will be guilty of an offence.
Those who intentionally sit down less than 1m away from another person in a public place, or stand in a queue less than 1m away from another person, will be guilty of an offence.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

From today, those who inten-tionally sit down less than 1m away from another person in a public place, on a fixed seat marked not to be occupied, or stand in a queue less than 1m away from another person, will be guilty of an offence.

They can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or face both penalties upon conviction under updates to the Infectious Diseases Act made by the Ministry of Health yesterday.

Those who own or occupy shopping centres, places of worship, funeral venues and 55 places of attractions such as museums and theme parks will also be liable for such penalties for not complying with safe distancing measures, such as having over 10 persons in a room at any one time.

Schools, workplaces, Parliament and the courts are exempt.

Meanwhile, patients with acute respiratory symptoms who are given a five-day medical certificate by a doctor must not leave home from the day the MC is given, except to seek medical attention. The same penalties for failure to keep a safe distance apply for those who breach this rule.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2020, with the headline 'Failure to keep 1m apart could result in a fine, jail'. Print Edition | Subscribe