Coronavirus: Stern action against those who repeatedly flout enhanced rules

Those caught flouting the rules for the first time will be issued a stern written warning, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.
Those caught flouting the rules for the first time will be issued a stern written warning, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.PHOTOS: MASAGOS ZULKIFLI/FACEBOOK, MARK CHEONG

People who repeatedly flout the enhanced safe distancing rules introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus will face fines and prosecution in court, the authorities have warned.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in a Facebook post yesterday that enforcement officers will take down the particulars of anyone caught breaching the rules for the first time and issue a written warning.

Second-time offenders will be fined $300, and those nabbed a third time will be charged in court.

Singapore reported a record 287 new coronavirus cases yesterday, taking the total number to 1,910.

The Environment and Water Resources Ministry said in a statement that 153 stern warnings were issued yesterday and cautioned that "in egregious cases, there may be prosecution even if it is a first offence".

In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said there are still crowds at nature reserves, markets and other places, on the third day of strict measures that include closing most workplaces and barring social gatherings of any size in homes or public spaces like parks until May 4.

People have to comply with stay-home measures "very strictly", he stressed. "If your loved ones do not understand how serious this is, please try hard to help them understand. The more we take liberties with the stay-home measures, the longer these painful measures will have to last. I know we all want to go back to normalcy, but this can only happen if we take things seriously."

PM Lee also spoke on the phone with his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern yesterday afternoon. He said Ms Ardern shared that New Zealand saw its coronavirus cases start to come down only on Day 11, after it barred residents from leaving their homes except to get essential supplies or to exercise.

"We are only in Day 3 and still have a long way to go. If we all comply strictly, as the New Zealanders have done, hopefully by our Day 11 we too will see positive results."

 
 
 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2020, with the headline 'Stern action against those who repeatedly flout enhanced rules'. Subscribe