COVID-19: Stiffer penalties for food delivery personnel who flout safe distancing measures

COVID-19: Stiffer penalties for food delivery personnel who flout safe distancing measures

A Grab delivery rider wears a face mask
A Grab delivery rider wears a face mask as he cycles on a street in Singapore, Mar 31, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Food delivery personnel who flout safe distancing measures will face further penalties, on top of existing ones already being meted out.

In a joint media release on Wednesday (Apr 15), Enterprise Singapore, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said they were working with food delivery companies to make sure delivery personnel observe elevated safe distancing measures.

"Given the frequent interactions food delivery personnel have with F&B establishments and customers, it is crucial that they comply with the operational guidance on safe distancing measures ... to safeguard their own well-being and that of others."

A ban on dining-in has been in place since Apr 7, when Singapore initiated a month-long circuit breaker to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

In that time, demand for food delivery has gone up 20 to 30 per cent, the agencies said in the release - adding that this strong demand was expected to continue for a period of time.

The three main players in Singapore's food delivery scene - Deliveroo, foodpanda and GrabFood - will now suspend delivery personnel from working across all three platforms for 12 months, if they break safe distancing regulations. This is in addition to any penalty already handed out by the authorities.

Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, first-time offenders will be fined up to S$10,000, imprisoned up to six months, or both. The fine goes up to S$20,000, and the jail sentence up to 12 months, for repeated offences.

Read: Social gatherings of any size in both private and public spaces prohibited under new Bill

Read: What the law says about having to wear a mask when outside your home

Enterprise Singapore, LTA and SFA added that the three food delivery companies will also work with their delivery personnel to ensure they maintain a safe distance from others at all time and avoid clustering among themselves.

In addition, the food delivery companies will have to ensure delivery personnel wear masks at all times in the course of their work, make contactless deliveries where possible, wash their hands regularly and clean the warmers used for food delivery.

The three government agencies said F&B establishments which allow delivery personnel or customers to cluster together at their outlets can also be fined or ordered to suspend operations.

The agencies added they will continue to work with other delivery companies on making sure their delivery personnel comply with the stricter safe distancing measures.

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Source: CNA/ac(rw)

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