Seven expatriates were charged on Tuesday (2 June) for violating circuit breaker measures at Robertson Quay last month. It is unclear whether all seven, who were charged with offences under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, are employment pass holders.
Photos of the mostly non-Singaporean crowds freely gathering and loitering at Robertson Quay went viral online last month, sparking widespread outrage among Singaporeans who were abiding by the circuit breaker measures.
While the majority of Singaporeans hunkered down at home to do their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19, four of those who were charged – 30-year-old Neil Gordon Buchan, 33-year-old James Titus Beatt, 35-year-old Joseph William Poynter and 37-year-old Perry Scott Blair – made plans to meet one another.
The four men, who are all from Britain, met up “for a social purpose” on 16 May between 6.19pm and 6.44pm at Robertson Quay, near the Rosso Vino restaurant in Merbau Road.
That same evening, an American married couple – 52-year-old Jeffrey Brown George and 40-year-old Bao Nguyen Brown – met up with 45-year-old Austrian, Michael Czerny, near TAP @ Robertson Quay between 6.08pm and 6.40pm.
The court heard that Bao Nguyen Brown is an employment pass holder who has lived in Singapore for 14 years and has a school-going son. Czerny, a Singapore permanent resident, also has two children who attend school here.
In response to questions on what action will be taken against the expatriates who broke circuit breaker measures at Robertson Quay, the Ministry of Manpower has said that its enforcement measures are “enforced strictly regardless of nationality.”
Urging work pass holders to take the rules seriously to protect themselves and the community, it said: “Foreigners working in Singapore on work passes must abide by our laws.”
All seven alleged offenders will return to court on 16 June. They face a maximum six-month jail term and/or a fine of up to S$10,000 if they are convicted under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.
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