Singapore—The Idle, a restaurant at 21 Media Circle, #01-05, Infinite Studios, has been ordered to close from Wednesday, August 19 to the Friday of the following week, August 28, by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
The SFA issued an order for the restaurant’s closure on August 17.
According to the statement from the SFA, The Idle received a closure order due to non-compliance with the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020. The SFA said it received word that the establishment, which is licensed as a restaurant, “had been selling alcohol as its primary business.”
Upon inspection of the restaurant’s premises, the Agency found that safe management measures had been flouted by The Idle’s operator “on multiple occasions” even though reminders had been given to observe these precautions. Among the measures breached was allowing over five people in a group to sit together and mingle. Another was the selling of alcoholic drinks after 10:30 in the evening.
News about The Idle’s temporary closure comes just days after a hotpot restaurant, Hai Xian Lao, located on the fourth level of Shaw House in Orchard Road, was also ordered to suspend operations for 10 days by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on August 15, due to similar breaches in safe distancing measures.
Hai Xian Lao did not observe the one-meter safe distancing protocol between patrons and allowed them to purchase alcoholic drinks past 10:30 in the evening.
Enforcement officers from the STB discovered on Friday night (Aug 14) that over 20 people had been allowed to dine at a locked private room at Hai Xian Lao.
STB director for retail and dining Ranita Sundramoorthy said, “STB takes a serious view of non-compliance for safety distancing measures by both businesses and members of the public. While we encourage people to go out and enjoy what our local businesses have to offer, we strongly urge them to do so in a safe and socially responsible manner, so as to minimise the risk of further Covid-19 transmissions within the community.”
While Singapore is under Phase 2 of Circuit Breaker measures, which began on June 19, food and beverage (F&B) establishments have been allowed to reopen, provided that the Safe Management Measures issued be observed.
According to the official advisory for the reopening of F&B establishments, “F&B establishments can provide dine-in services, provided there is no provision of Public Entertainment. Sales and consumption of alcohol in all F&B establishments will be prohibited after 2230hrs daily. This includes consumption at any outdoor refreshment area (ORA) and/or tables/chairs owned or managed by such establishment.”
The advisory also states that “Each group must be limited to 5 or fewer persons, with at least one-metre spacing between groups . Gatherings or groups involving more than 5 persons in total are not allowed, even if they are split across multiple tables. There should be no mixing or intermingling between groups.”
The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 says that first-time offenders may be fined as much as S$10,000, be imprisoned for as long as six months, or both. If they breach safe management measures again, the fine goes up to as much as S$20,000 and the prison sentence to as long as 12 months.—/TISG