Spotlight on breaches of safety rules as new clusters emerge

Videos of a group of at least seven people allegedly at a party in Resorts World Sentosa hotel on Nov 15 to celebrate the pregnancy of one of the women were uploaded on social media.
Videos of a group of at least seven people allegedly at a party in Resorts World Sentosa hotel on Nov 15 to celebrate the pregnancy of one of the women were uploaded on social media.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The recent spike in Covid-19 cases has resulted in three new local clusters. The Government is concerned about a potential surge in cases, especially with recent incidents of large gatherings under investigation and offenders being charged for flouting safe distancing rules. Here are some of these incidents.

NATURE RESERVE HIKE AND PARTY

When: November 2020

Incident: The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment said two groups were being investigated for alleged violations of Covid-19 safety measures.

One group involved 26 hikers who tried to go off-trail illegally at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The other, a group of 20, was celebrating a birthday at Labrador Nature Reserve.

Action taken: Investigations are ongoing.

RWS PREGNANCY PARTY

When: Nov 15, 2020

Incident: Videos of a group of at least seven people were uploaded on social media. They had allegedly held a party to celebrate the pregnancy of one of the women. Some of them had uploaded several videos depicting themselves play-fighting on beds. One of the women involved has around 57,000 followers on Instagram.

Action taken: The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is investigating.

TWO RWS HOTELS SUSPENDED

When: Oct 10, 2020 and Nov 17, 2020

Incident: Two Resorts World Sentosa hotels, Beach Villas and Equarius Hotel, were found to have violated safe distancing measures.

STB enforcement officers discovered at least 15 people gathering in a villa at Beach Villas although only four guests were registered with the hotel.

Officers also found that Equarius Hotel did not prevent a gathering of 16 people in one of its rooms.

STB found that the hotels had not ensured their guests had checked in using SafeEntry or conducted temperature screening.

Action taken: Both hotels were barred from accepting bookings for 30 days, until today. Investigations are ongoing.

ALLEGED BREACHES AT WEDDING OF LOCAL ACTOR

When: Dec 20, 2020

Incident: Guests at Ah Boys To Men actor Maxi Lim's wedding were seen intermingling at his wedding reception without wearing masks in videos and photos posted on social media.

Guests included fellow cast members Joshua Tan and Noah Yap, influencer Nicole Choo and master of ceremonies Justin Misson.

Action taken: STB is investigating.

GROUP PHOTO-TAKING ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE

When: Dec 20 and 21, 2020

Incident: A group of more than 10 people on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship had gathered to take photos on both days.

The photos were posted on some of the group members' public Instagram accounts and showed them unmasked and standing less than 1m apart from one another.

Action taken: Royal Caribbean and STB are investigating.

KARAOKE OUTLET SUSPENDED OVER CHRISTMAS DAY BREACHES

When: Dec 25, 2020

Incident: MZS Family Karaoke in Orchard Road was found to have 51 people on its premises at midnight on Christmas Day.

It had been operating as a food and beverage outlet and had served alcoholic drinks past 10.30pm, which is not allowed.

Action taken: STB ordered the outlet to suspend operations for 20 days, and the police and STB are investigating the outlet and the 51 people for suspected non-compliance with safe distancing measures.

LAZARUS ISLAND YACHT PARTY

When: Dec 26, 2020

Incident: Photos and videos of a gathering of 10 people on a yacht near Lazarus Island were shared on social media on Dec 26. Members of the group were seen dancing without masks.

Action taken: The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is investigating.

PASIR RIS RESORT SUSPENDED, 19 PEOPLE FINED

When: Jan 17, 2021

Incident: A joint operation by STB and the police found that 19 people had gathered in two adjoining units at Cherryloft Resorts and Hotels in Pasir Ris.

Cherryloft had also failed to conduct entry screening and ensure its guests had checked in using SafeEntry.

Action taken: All 19 were fined $300 each. Cherryloft was also fined $1,000 and ordered by STB to suspend bookings for a month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2021, with the headline 'Spotlight on breaches of safety rules as new clusters emerge'. Subscribe