Coronavirus: 10 non-essential businesses told to close after flouting circuit breaker rules

Businesses are closed in Singapore's Pagoda Street near noon on April 7, 2020.
Businesses are closed in Singapore's Pagoda Street near noon on April 7, 2020.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Ten businesses that do not provide essential services have been told to cease operations after they were found to have remained open during the circuit breaker period that began on Tuesday (April 7) and will go on until May 4.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said that these businesses included traditional Chinese medicine retail establishments, wellness and beauty product shops, money changers, mobile phone retail shops, consumer electronics retailers, kitchenware stores and stationery shops.

The agencies said that verbal warnings were issued to these businesses and if they do not comply, they would be fined and their operations would be suspended.

ESG and STB enforcement checks covered close to 10,700 businesses in Singapore on Tuesday, which involved over 200 distancing ambassadors and staff members.

ESG conducted checks on over 9,750 food and beverage businesses as well as retail outlets in 67 shopping malls, while STB inspected more than 920 tourism-related establishments.

While most of these businesses complied with the safe distancing measures, common infractions found include a lack of queue markings and poor crowd management during meal times.

The statutory boards said they would continue to increase enforcement efforts during the circuit breaker period which is aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

They said: "We take a serious view of any infringement of safe distancing measures and will not hesitate to take actions against non-compliant businesses."

Under new rules that were passed in Parliament on Tuesday, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to $10,000, be jailed up to six months, or both.


The punishment may be doubled for repeat offenders.