Singapore – A total of 17 individuals and seven bars were discovered flouting Covid-19 safety measures between Sept 4 and 6, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Some operators accepted reservations for groups of more than five persons, fully aware of the rule that the limit was five individuals.
Safe distancing officers discovered seven food and beverage (F&B) outlets along Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, China Square and Tanjong Pagar breaching safe distancing measures as they were patrolling the areas. Outlet operators accepted groups exceeding five people and failed to implement the one-metre distance among groups dining in, reported mothership.sg.
Between Sept 4 and 6, Coyote Ugly, Le Noir, Bombay Grill, Aglio Olio, The Cooperage, Hokkai Villa and City Hotspot were fined by authorities for violations. All seven F&B operators were fined S$1,000 each, said URA in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 9). Furthermore, Le Noir and Coyote Ugly located in Clarke Quay were ordered to cease dine-in activities from Sept 10 to 19.
“The rules on safe distancing have been clearly communicated to F&B outlets and individuals alike, and there should be no excuse to continue flouting the rules,” said URA. “Operators are not allowed to accept groups of more than five persons, even when customers are split into different tables, or in private dining rooms.” Customers who gather in groups of more than five within the premises should also note that they have committed an offence, added URA.
A total of 17 individuals were fined for breaching such rules, with more cases being investigated.
On Wednesday, Education Minister and co-chair of the Multi-Ministry Task Force for Covid-19 Lawrence Wong announced in a press conference that there would no longer be any warnings for F&B outlets on their first offence for breaching Covid-19 rules. Authorities will now enforce immediate action against first-time offenders instead of issuing warnings.
“I’m glad that most people, F&B operators and diners…are complying with these measures,” said Mr Wong. “But there are still a few breaches that we pick up literally on a daily basis, and they typically happen at the popular nightspots – not always, but very often at some of these popular areas.”
Individuals and operators were spotted not wearing masks, gathering in groups of more than five, intermingling between groups, selling and consuming alcohol past 10:30 pm, seating customers less than a metre apart and playing loud music, said Mr Wong, listing down examples of the breaches.
In disclosing the new enforcement approach, Mr Wong noted: “enough time has transpired for the entire F&B industry as well as for diners to understand what the rules are and to comply with them.”
Enforcement agencies will also be stepping up their spot checks and enforcement actions, said Mr Wong. On top of fines and ordered closures, depending on the severity of the
offence, multiple breaches at one location could result in a case being sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for prosecution.