104 people fined for breaching COVID-19 regulations at parks and beaches last weekend

104 people fined for breaching COVID-19 regulations at parks and beaches last weekend

MSE Changi Beach Park safe management measure breach COVID-19
A total of 27 people were each fined S$300 for gathering in groups of more than eight people and intermingling at Changi Beach Park on Jan 23 and 24, 2021. (Photo: NParks)

SINGAPORE: A total of 104 people were fined for breaching COVID-19 safe management measures in parks and beaches last weekend, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said on Friday (Jan 29).

The breaches included gathering in groups of more than eight and intermingling.

"In Changi Beach Park alone, 27 individuals were each fined S$300 for breaching (safe management measures) on the two days," said MSE in a media release.

READ: COVID-19 - Additional control measures to be implemented after crowding observed at some hotspots

The fines followed checks at food and beverage outlets, malls and other public spaces on Jan 22 and Jan 23 to ensure compliance with the measures, the ministry said.

The National Parks Boards will continue to step up enforcement at parks and beaches, MSE added.

TWO MORE F&B OPERATORS FACE CHARGES

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has filed charges against another two F&B operators for breaching COVID-19 safe management measures.

Mark Enterprise, which operates Try Again bar at Circular Road, allegedly continued business operations on Jul 18 last year despite being issued an order to close its premises for 10 days after multiple infringements of safety measures.

MSE f&b outlets safe management measure breach COVID-19 (1)
On Jul 18, 2020, Try Again at Circular Road was found to be open for business despite a closure order. (Photo: URA)

Charges were also filed against the operator of Kim's Place Seafood restaurant and the Singapore Straits Wine Company, which is suspected of holding a company gathering at the restaurant.

Kim's Place Seafood allegedly allowed gatherings of more than five people split across multiple tables. It also allowed karaoke activities at its premises on Sep 7 and Sep 12 last year.

MSE f&b outlets safe management measure breach COVID-19
Kim's Place Seafood restaurant at Joo Chiat Place allowed an extended family of more than five to be seated across three tables on Sep 12, 2020. (Photo: URA)

For the breaches, the operator was issued with two closure orders totalling 30 days, from Jan 6 to Feb 4.

Singapore Straits Wine Company allegedly organised a company gathering involving 26 staff members at Kim's Place Seafood on Sep 7 last year. The 26 people have each been fined S$300.

The two F&B operators will be charged on Feb 2 along with Invincible (BBCM), which URA filed charges against last month.

FOUR F&B OUTLETS ORDERED TO CLOSE

Four more F&B outlets were ordered to close for a period of 10 days after breaching various COVID-19 safe management measures.

Xiao Yao Ge restaurant at Jurong East Avenue 1 was ordered to close after it seated different groups of diners less than 1m apart on Jan 23. It was the restaurant's third offence.

MSE f&b outlets safe management measure breach COVID-19 (1)
Xiao Yao Ge at Jurong East seated groups of diners less than 1m apart on Jan 23, 2021. (Photo: SFA)

Main Entrance at Sago Street allowed more than eight people to gather, failed to conduct temperature checks at the entrance and permitted customers to make speeches on Jan 23.

Eighteen people at the restaurant were each fined S$300 for gathering in groups of more than eight.

MSE f&b outlets safe management measure breach COVID-19
Main Entrance (left) at Sago Street and Killiney Kopitiam (right) in Lucky Plaza breached COVID-19 safe management measures. (Photos: STB)

Killiney Kopitiam at Lucky Plaza failed to conduct temperature checks at the entrance and to ensure its customers used SafeEntry for check-ins on Jan 26.

The restaurant was previously issued fines totalling S$4,000 last year for similar infringements.

Tian Ya Hai Jiao KTV on Aliwal Street, which obtained approval to operate as an F&B outlet, was ordered to close after serving alcohol past 10.30pm on Jan 10.

MSE f&b outlets safe management measure breach COVID-19 (2)
Tian Ya Hai Jiao KTV at Aliwal Street was found to have served alcohol past 10.30pm on Jan 10, 2021. (Photo: SPF)

READ: Chinatown businesses brace themselves for a subdued Chinese New Year amid COVID-19

SIX CHINATOWN RESTAURANTS FINED

Four F&B outlets in Chinatown were fined S$1,000 each for breaching safe management measures.

They are Dong Bei Ren Jia and Spring Court Restaurant at Upper Cross Street, Lao Si Chuan Dou Hua Zhuang at Temple Street and The Temple Restaurant at Trengganu Street.

Nine people at The Temple Restaurant were also each fined S$300 for gathering in groups of more than eight.

In addition, two restaurants that were repeat offenders were fined S$2,000 each. They are Mei Heong Yuen Dessert at Temple Street and The Hot Pot Gathering at Upper Cross Street.

The breaches included seating groups of diners less than 1m apart, accepting bookings for more than eight people and seating a group of more than eight people together.

READ: Rules on visiting and tossing yusheng - 7 things to note this Chinese New Year amid COVID-19

ENFORCEMENT INSPECTIONS STEPPED UP FOR FESTIVE PERIOD

MSE urged the public to be vigilant and observe safe management measures, noting that increased social intermingling during festive periods heightens the risks of COVID-19 transmission.

"Last year, we saw the emergence of large COVID-19 clusters stemming from Chinese New Year gatherings. The increase in social activities during the Christmas and year-end period had likely contributed to the recent number of community cases," said MSE.

The ministry said that in the run-up to the festive period, there are "anecdotal reports" of F&B outlets accepting bookings for large groups and breaking them into smaller tables, and diners making bookings for large groups under different names.

READ: Claims about authorities hiring people to enforce 8-visitor rule during Chinese New Year are false - MSE

"We strongly advise F&B operators to double-check the reservations they have already received to ensure that the bookings are in order," said MSE.

"We also urge diners to not try to circumvent the rules, for the sake of their loved ones and the well-being of the community."

The ministry added that agencies are stepping up enforcement inspections, including checking bookings made at F&B outlets, and will continue to do so during the festive period.

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Source: CNA/dv(cy)

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