57 people, 15 outlets breached safe distancing measures; enforcement to be stepped up immediately

A group of 13 individuals had booked multiple barbecue pits at East Coast Park. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Government agencies will step up enforcement checks at all premises, including food and beverage (F&B) premises, parks, malls and other hot spots starting from this weekend, the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment (MSE) announced on Friday (April 30).

This comes amid increased Covid-19 transmissions in the dormitories and community here and after a number of premises and individuals were recently caught breaking the rules.

MSE said that on April 10 and 11, 57 people were fined $300 each for breaching safe management measures in parks.

Some had gathered in groups of more than eight people at Fort Canning Park, while a group of 13 individuals booked multiple barbecue pits at East Coast Park.

In addition to the 57, one man is being investigated for a number of charges, including disorderly behaviour, voluntarily causing hurt, using abusive language against a public servant, and breaching regulation 3A of the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

The man in question was spotted by a safe distancing ambassador and an auxiliary police officer as he walked around Maxwell Food Centre without a mask on April 18.

As the man was not eating or drinking, the safe distancing ambassador advised him in two encounters to wear his mask.

MSE said that the man, who was believed to be intoxicated, refused to comply and hurled vulgarities at the safe distancing ambassador and auxiliary police officer.

According to MSE, he also assaulted the safe distancing ambassador and behaved aggressively when police officers arrived. He was later arrested.

The ministry said: "Our safe distancing ambassadors and enforcement officers have been working hard to keep our community safe. They are performing an important duty. We urge members of the public to continue to cooperate with them and comply with the instructions of personnel deployed for Covid-19-related duties."

Ten F&B premises were also ordered to close due to a variety of breaches including failing to ensure safe distancing, allowing gatherings to exceed the permitted group size, and serving alcohol after 10.30pm.

In one case, Eighty Two Bar at Serangoon Garden Way allowed customers to consume alcohol after 10.30pm, play poker cards, and sing karaoke on April 17. It was ordered to close for 10 days.

In another case, Hooha Restaurant & Cafe in South Buona Vista Road, a repeat offender, was ordered to close for 20 days after allowing customers to consume alcohol after 10.30pm on March 26. Two television monitors were also broadcasting music at the premises.

Finally, five F&B outlets were fined $1,000 for breaching safe management measures. Their breaches included seating groups of customers less than 1m apart and failing to facilitate contact tracing for every customer entering the premises.

These include Tunglok Seafood at Paya Lebar Quarter, Dee Care at Golden Mile Complex, and Big Appetite Food Court in Suntec City.

Announcing the penalties, MSE said: "It remains critical to maintain our collective vigilance against Covid-19. Our sustained efforts will help avoid a resurgence in cases which could have a devastating impact on our lives and livelihoods, as can be seen in other countries."

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