Singapore — Two groups of men and women were filmed flouting Covid-19 rules at the Hong Lim Market & Food Centre.
A video circulating on social media which has been posted on TikTok and Facebook shows one table of seven people, and another table of eight recorded eating at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre on Friday (Jan 7). The original video uploaded to TikTok by @xiaohui661425 has since been taken down, but other copies have found their way to social media.
Current Covid-19 rules (since Nov 22, 2021) allow a group of up to five fully vaccinated people to dine together at restaurants. Since Nov 23, this has also applied to hawker centres and coffee shops that are able to put in place the necessary checks.
The netizen who posted the video on Facebook asked: “Where’s the inspector? Where’s the police? Why are these people able to sit together and get a ticket for Singaporeans? Are they privileged or are foreigners having special treatment?”
The clip which lasts for 16 seconds shows seven people talking and eating at one table and then pans across the hawker centre to show another table of a group of eight.
The exact date when the video posted recently was shot is not clear. The people in the background, including a cleaner, can be seen wearing masks. Red tape on stools to indicate safe-distancing measures can also be seen in the video.
This incident is being compared with a Boxing Day party on a yacht in Singapore waters in December 2020. A group of people, mostly British nationals, were spotted ignoring safe-distancing measures on a yacht at Lazarus Island. They were seen dancing as Christmas music was playing.
Each of the partygoers was later fined $3,000. Eight of them were also banned from working in Singapore.
A Facebook user by the name of Bu Hui Yan had posted photos and videos of that Boxing Day party. Stills and videos were also circulated via WhatsApp.
Lazarus Island, also known as Pulau Sakijang Pelepah, is one of the Southern Islands in Singapore.
At the time, according to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines, (MOH) updated on Monday (Dec 28, 2020), “Social gatherings of up to any eight persons can take place, in premises that are open to the public. The eight persons do not need to be from the same household. If gathering at home, households may receive up to eight visitors at any one time. These eight visitors are not restricted to having to come from the same household either”.
None of the partygoers on the yacht were wearing masks. There also seemed to be no social distancing between those on board.
During Phase 2 of Singapore’s Circuit Breaker – which ended a day after the yacht party on December 27 social gatherings of more than five people were disallowed under the Covid-19 regulations.
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