SINGAPORE: British Indian Curry Hut restaurant has been ordered to close after it failed to ensure that COVID-19 safe management practices were adhered to, leading to crowds on the first day of Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening.
In a statement on Saturday (Jun 20), the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said people were observed gathering around the outdoor refreshment areas and on the road along Lorong Mambong in Holland Village on Friday evening.
"Based on our observations, crowds were seen at the British Indian Curry Hut, which had failed to ensure safe management practices were adhered to.
"We have therefore ordered the restaurant to close with immediate effect," said URA.
The restaurant will only be allowed to do takeaways next week and open for dining from Jun 29, provided it has shown that it is able to implement safe management measures for its customers, URA added.
The authority also said that Lorong Mambong will be reopened to traffic to prevent people from gathering on the street, and that the outdoor refreshment areas along the Lorong Mambong sidewalks will be removed.
"All F&B outlets along this stretch will have to ensure that their customers dine only within their premises and are not loitering or drinking outside," said URA.
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Five people were also fined for violating safe distancing rules after enforcement officers conducted checks in the vicinity, with investigations ongoing for other possible breaches of safe distancing measures.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said that the majority of businesses and individuals are cooperating with measures to resume activities safely, but a few are acting "very irresponsibly".
They will be taken to task, said Mr Wong, who also called on business owners to "do the right thing".
"There’s no point rushing to open, only to fall short of the new safe management requirements," said Mr Wong.
"You will end up with further closures and disruptions for your business. Worse, you will be endangering the lives of your customers and staff."
"Teams of safe distancing ambassadors and enforcement officers will continue their patrols islandwide, and will take immediate action against any breaches of safe management measures by both individuals and operators," said URA.
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Those found breaching safe distancing rules will be fined - even if it is a first offence - with repeat cases charged and prosecuted in court.
Business operators who are unable to comply with the safe management measures will be ordered to close, and will face possible penalties and charges.
"We cannot afford to let our guard down even as we move into Phase 2. Everyone must continue to play their part to prevent the transmission of COVID-19," said URA.
On Saturday, Singapore reported 218 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the country's total to 41,833.