Singapore – The Ministry of National Development (MND) is investigating Mediacorp artistes for possible breaches of safe distancing measures after a photo celebrating actor Jeffrey Xu’s birthday shows celebrities not wearing a mask and exceeding the limit of five people for a gathering.
According to a straitstimes.com report on Wednesday (Dec 23), the MND was alerted to the incident involving a group gathering at a residence to celebrate Mr Xu’s birthday. “Investigations are ongoing in respect of possible breaches by the various parties,” said an MND representative who did not identify the individuals implicated.
“MND and other government agencies take a serious view of such breaches, and will not hesitate to take firm action against those who are found to have violated safe distancing measures.”
Since being brought into the social media highlight, Mediacorp celebrities Shane Pow, Terence Cao and Mr Xu apologised on Wednesday via the broadcaster.
In one of the photos uploaded in Instagram on Oct 3, a total of 13 people were standing close to each other while Mr Xu was holding a cake. No one was wearing a face mask.
Other celebrities identified in the photo are Jeremy Chan and Julie Tan, who are not managed by Mediacorp.
Under the current Covid-19 regulations social gatherings are limited to groups of five outside a residence and households. The limit will be increased starting Dec 28 to eight people outside the home and as visitors in a household.
A reader had tipped Chinese language publication Shin Min Daily News (SMDN) on Wednesday of the possible breaches in safety measures.
It was later identified that a fourth artiste, 987FM deejay Sonia Chew was also in the photo. Mediacorp had confirmed with SMDN that its four artistes were at the gathering. The company said, “They (the four artistes) deeply regret their actions. They would like to apologise for the mistake and assure everyone that this will not happen again.”
“We take this matter seriously. Safety is a priority. We constantly brief and remind our artistes to adhere to safe management guidelines, both in their professional and personal capacities,” it said in a channelnewsasia.com report.
On Sunday (Dec 20), Ah Boys To Men star Maxi Lim made headlines for possible breaches of Covid-19 safety measures during his and influencer Lizy Teo’s wedding reception held at One Degree 15 Marina in Sentosa Cove on Sunday.
Photos and videos circulating on social media platforms such as Instagram show those at the wedding reception intermingling and not wearing face masks. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) confirmed it received a complaint from a member of the public and is investigating the incident.
First-time offenders of the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act will face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Repeat offenders could be fined up to S$20,000, imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both.