Two F&B operators to be charged over safety breaches

Four other outlets ordered shut for 10 days and six eateries and 131 people fined

On July 18 last year, Try Again bar in Circular Road was found to be open for business despite having been issued a closure order.
Tian Ya Hai Jiao KTV, which had received approval to pivot its operations to food and beverage, was found on Jan 10 at 12.35am to have served alcohol to patrons past the cut-off time of 10.30pm for alcohol consumption. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Last Saturday, Main Entrance in Sago Street was found to have allowed more than eight individuals to gather, among other infractions.
On July 18 last year, Try Again bar in Circular Road was found to be open for business despite having been issued a closure order. PHOTO: URA
Tian Ya Hai Jiao KTV, which had received approval to pivot its operations to food and beverage, was found on Jan 10 at 12.35am to have served alcohol to patrons past the cut-off time of 10.30pm for alcohol consumption.
Last Saturday, Main Entrance in Sago Street was found to have allowed more than eight individuals to gather, among other infractions.
PHOTO: STB
Last Saturday, Xiao Yao Ge was found to have committed a third offence of seating groups of diners less than 1m apart.
Last Saturday, Xiao Yao Ge was found to have committed a third offence of seating groups of diners less than 1m apart. PHOTO: SINGAPORE FOOD AGENCY

Two food and beverage (F&B) operators will be charged on Tuesday with breaching safe management measures - one of them for continuing to operate despite being ordered to close for multiple infringements previously.

In addition, following checks by the authorities this month, four F&B outlets have been ordered to close for 10 days, while another six eateries and 131 people were fined for breaching Covid-19 rules, said the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) yesterday.

The two F&B operators to be charged are Mark Enterprise and Kim's Place Seafood Restaurant.

Mark Enterprise, which operates Try Again bar in Circular Road, allegedly continued operations on July 18 despite having been issued an order to close for breaching multiple safe management measures.

Meanwhile, Kim's Place Seafood in Joo Chiat Place allegedly allowed gatherings of more than five people split across multiple tables. It also allowed karaoke activities on its premises in September last year, said MSE in a statement.

For the breaches, Kim's Place Seafood was also issued two closure orders totalling 30 days, from Jan 6 to next Thursday.

Another company, Singapore Straits Wine Company, will be charged over allegedly organising a company gathering involving 26 staff at Kim's Place Seafood on Sept 7 last year. All 26 have been fined $300 each.

Separately, the outlets ordered to close are Xiao Yao Ge at 350 Jurong East Avenue 1, Main Entrance at 40 Sago Street, Killiney Kopitiam in Lucky Plaza and Tian Ya Hai Jiao KTV at 2 Aliwal Street.

Main Entrance - a pub which operates with an F&B licence - was found to have allowed its customers to make speeches, allowed a gathering of more than eight people and failed to conduct temperature checks at the entrance last Saturday.

Under the Covid-19 Temporary Measures Act, F&B establishments must not allow any speeches or recitals by customers. The Singapore Tourism Board ordered Main Entrance to close for 10 days from Tuesday to next Thursday.

Last Saturday, Chinese restaurant Xiao Yao Ge was found to have seated separate groups of diners less than 1m apart - the third time it has breached Covid-19 measures. It was ordered to close for 10 days from Thursday to next Saturday.

The restaurant was previously fined $1,000 for seating groups of customers less than a metre apart on two occasions.

Killiney Kopitiam did not conduct temperature checks at its entrance and failed to ensure that its customers performed SafeEntry check-ins for contact tracing. It was ordered to close for 10 days from Wednesday to next Friday.

Tian Ya Hai Jiao KTV, which had received approval to pivot its operations to F&B, was found to have served alcohol to diners past the cut-off time of 10.30pm for alcohol consumption. It was ordered to close for 10 days from last Saturday to next Monday.

Four other outlets were fined $1,000 each and another two were fined $2,000 each for repeat offences.

The breaches included seating groups of diners less than a metre apart, accepting bookings of more than eight people and seating a group of more than eight people together.

Twenty-seven individuals were fined $300 each for gathering in groups larger than eight. The remaining 104 people were fined for gathering in groups of more than eight people and mingling at parks and beaches.

Noting how increased social interactions during the festive period increases the risk of the virus spreading, the MSE urged people to follow safe distancing rules during the Chinese New Year period to prevent a resurgence of community cases.

"Last year, we saw the emergence of large Covid-19 clusters stemming from Chinese New Year gatherings. The increase in social activities during the Christmas and year-end period had likely contributed to the recent number of community cases," said MSE.

It also advised F&B operators to check the reservations they received to ensure that bookings did not include more than eight people, citing anecdotal reports of F&B outlets accepting bookings for large groups and breaking them into smaller tables, as well as diners making bookings for large groups under different names.

"Agencies are already stepping up enforcement inspections, including checking the bookings made at F&B outlets, and will continue to do so during the festive period," said the ministry.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2021, with the headline Two F&B operators to be charged over safety breaches. Subscribe