Questions of potential double standards have arisen after photos of crowds gathering freely in the Robertson Quay area went viral over the weekend.
The Government has introduced several measures to fight the spread of COVID-19, including a circuit breaker period in which non-essential workers are asked to work from home, wear masks if they need to go out for essentials and practice safe distancing.
Entertainment establishments and shops are closed with restaurants only being allowed to serve takeout meals. Customers are not allowed to eat at any eatery’s premise. Safe distancing ambassadors have been deployed to enforce these rules. Those who flout the circuit breaker measures could face fines or imprisonment.
On Saturday (16 May), Facebook user Lectress Pat published photos that a friend had taken at Robertson Quay around 6.25pm. The netizen’s friend, who was out exercising, said that while she spotted two enforcement officers and a police office along the Alexandra Park Connector, “not a single enforcer” was in sight at the nearby Robertson Quay area that is located minutes away from the Park Connector.
The photos that Lectress Pat shared on social media show crowds of people loitering in the area with no concern for safe distancing. Many of those who are hanging out in the area appear to be expatriates.
One picture showed a trio, who were not wearing masks, using a standing table to consume beer they had presumably bought from a nearby food outlet even though they are not supposed to consume food or drinks outside.
Lectress Pat said that her friend observed that the food and beverage establishments at Robertson Quay “did nothing to stop these people from drinking at their premise nor did they remove the standing tables.”
Claiming that the scene downtown stands in stark contrast to the scrutiny residents in HDB heartlands face when they are out for essentials, the netizen wrote:
“So perhaps the authorities can enlighten many of us… The usual local HDB folks are being monitored closely, apprehended promptly, yet such gatherings with many drinking openly and no masks on, are tolerated in certain ‘Sovereign’ zones… Double Standards Much???
“Such wayward actions by these black sheeps will only jeopardize local community & frontline efforts to recover from the pandemic.”
Lectress Pat’s post quickly went viral prompting more netizens to share photos of residents freely loitering around the Robertson Quay area. An anonymous Singapore resident shared the following photos with the website Goody Feed. The photos show crowds of people with blatant disregard for the safe distancing and masking up measures:
Facebook user Huiling Tan shared more photos of similar crowds and individuals who refused to abide by the mandatory rule to wear masks in public. The netizen dubbed the law breakers as “covidiots”:
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has since ordered the food and beverage establishments at Robertson Quay to stop selling takeaway alcohol immediately.