COVID-19: More than 7,000 breaches of elevated safe-distancing measures on Day 1 of 'circuit breaker'

COVID-19: More than 7,000 breaches of elevated safe-distancing measures on Day 1 of 'circuit breaker'

Safe distancing enforcement officer
Enforcement officer deployed by Singapore's Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources at a coffee shop in Bedok North on Apr 7, 2020. (Photo: MEWR)

SINGAPORE: More than 7,000 written advisories were issued on the first day of a nationwide "circuit-breaker", a month-long period of enhanced safe-distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Most of these advisories were issued to members of the public in hawker centres and markets, said the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) in a media release on Tuesday (Apr 7).

MEWR said the breaches included failure to maintain safe distances when queuing or making payments by following floor markings. The ministry also cited a stallholder who was issued an advisory for selling drinks intended for dine-in at a hawker centre.

Under the enhanced measures, F&B outlets are only allowed to offer takeaway or delivery services.

Safe distancing at Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre
Safe Distancing measures at Singapore's Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre on Apr 7, 2020. (Photo: MEWR)

"If a member of public is found in breach of these measures, an enforcement officer will issue a written advisory immediately," said MEWR.

"If the member of public does not comply or returns to commit the same offence, the enforcement officer will take down his or her particulars and issue a written stern warning. The police may also be contacted for follow-up action."

Under a new Bill passed in Parliament on Tuesday, first time offenders can be fined up to S$10,000 or imprisoned up to six months, or both. The penalty for second or subsequent offences is a fine of up to S$20,000 or imprisonment of up to twelve months, or both.

READ: COVID-19: Social gatherings of any size in both private and public spaces prohibited under new Bill

More than 2,000 Safe Distancing and SG Clean Ambassadors, and enforcement officers were sent to HDB estates across the island on Tuesday. The personnel were deployed in town centres, hawker centres, coffee shops, transport nodes, parks, and community clubs.

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Source: CNA/ac

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