SINGAPORE: More than 10 repeat offenders will face a fine of S$1,000 for continued breaches of safe distancing measures during the COVID-19 outbreak, including not wearing a mask in public spaces, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said in a Facebook post on Sunday (Apr 19).
“More than 240 face a fine for not complying with safe distancing measures. Another 120 face a fine for not wearing a mask outside their homes,” Mr Masagos added, noting these numbers were higher than the day before.
As the country tries to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Mr Masagos voiced his concern over people gathering for a prolonged period at popular markets like Geylang Serai Market.
“We saw long queues at several markets again this weekend. At 8am this morning, for instance, there were around 200 people queuing at Geylang Serai Market, and the average waiting time to get into the market was at least 30 minutes,” the minister said.
He compared it to Tekka Market where there was “no queue”, and the market at 505 Jurong West where the queue was “short and fast-moving”.
READ: Police will investigate after criminal force used against safe distancing enforcement officers: Masagos
Mr Masagos acknowledged more people are cooking at home because of the "circuit breaker" measures, making it necessary to head to supermarkets and markets. But he urged people to minimise crowding by visiting during off-peak hours, on weekdays, or to go to less popular markets.
“Old habits die hard. If we let our guard down a moment, it is possible it could result in another COVID-19 infection cluster.
“Remember that the virus can get through our eyes too, e.g. when we rub our eyes with hands that have touched contaminated surfaces.
“We must always be alert in this battle against such a contagious disease,” said Mr Masagos.
He also strongly urged people to stay home.
“If you need to go out, do remember to put on a mask and follow safe distancing measures at all times. Do not stay out longer than necessary.
"Please! This is the best way to protect ourselves and those around us," he said.