Two RWS hotels ordered to suspend new bookings for a month after allowing large gatherings in rooms

The suspension for Beach Villas (left) and Equarius Hotel will begin on Dec 22, 2020, and last till Jan 21. PHOTOS: BEACH VILLAS/FACEBOOK, SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAPS

SINGAPORE - Two hotels at Resorts World Sentosa will not be allowed to accept new bookings for a month for failing to follow safe distancing measures.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said in a statement on Monday (Dec 21) that the suspension for Beach Villas and Equarius Hotel will begin on Tuesday and last till Jan 21.

The hotels can still fulfil existing bookings.

As of Monday, 10 hotels and hostels have been fined for breaching safe management measures, such as failing to conduct entry screening or recording contact details of guests that enter their premises, said STB.

Its enforcement officers found that at least 15 individuals had gathered in a two-storey villa in Beach Villas on Oct 10, though the booking was made under four individuals.

Of the 15 people, only four were registered as guests with the hotel.

Current safe management measures restrict gatherings to not more than five individuals in any guest rooms, unless they are all from the same household.

STB also found that the hotel did not take steps to conduct entry screening like temperature checks of the individuals. It also did not implement SafeEntry to ensure they had checked in for contact tracing.

Separately on Nov 17, STB enforcement officers found that Equarius Hotel did not prevent a gathering of 16 people in one of its guest rooms.

The room had been booked under the names of three of the 16 individuals.

The hotel had failed to deploy staff at entry points to ensure the individuals would check-in via SafeEntry, did not take their temperatures, and did not ensure no more than five people were gathered in the same guest room, said STB.

"Further investigations of the two hotels and individuals involved are under way, and enforcement actions may be taken," it added.

Under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, first-time offenders can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed up to six months, or both.

Repeat offenders may be fined up to $20,000 or jailed up to 12 months, or both.

"STB takes a serious view of any breach in safe management measures and will not hesitate to take enforcement action for non-compliance," said the agency.

STB had introduced additional safe management measures on Dec 1 following several breaches and in view of the festive period.

These included ensuring every visitor to a guest room is pre-registered by the guest before arrival, and that visitor entry into guest rooms is monitored, such as via visitor passes or staff stationed at lobbies.

The hotels and hostels that have been fined previously for breaching safe management measures are: Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Furama Riverfront Singapore, Gap Year Hostel, Hotel 1887, Hotel Supreme, Kim Tian Hotel (Han), One Degree 15 Marina Club, ST Signature Jalan Besar Hotel, ST Signature Tanjong Pagar Hotel and Thad's Boutique Hostel.

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