SINGAPORE: A hostel that allowed guests to stay for "leisure purposes" has been ordered to suspend operations for 30 days, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Sunday (Oct 18).
Another five food and beverage (F&B) outlets have also been fined S$1,000 each for breaching COVID-19 safe management measures, added the agency in a media release.
Additionally, 16 people have been fined for failing to wear a mask.
READ: Three F&B outlets ordered to close for flouting COVID-19 safety rules, including restaurant that served beer in teapots
According to STB's investigations, Hawaii Hostel allowed more than 260 guests to check-in for leisure purposes since Sep 17.
Currently, hostels are only permitted to accept guests if their home environment is not available or accessible, or if their residence is not suitable due to work or domestic conditions.
The hostel, located at 171A Bencoolen Street, also previously made false statements to safe distancing ambassadors that their customers were long-term guests instead of guests on leisure bookings, said STB.
Additionally, the hostel failed to record guests’ purpose of stay, as required by the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.
"As hostels are close-living quarters where non-related individuals are likely to come into close contact with one another in enclosed spaces and for prolonged periods of time, there is a high risk for virus transmission associated with the physical setting," said STB.
Hawaii Hostel will suspend operations from Oct 11 to Nov 9, and is not permitted to accept new bookings or check-ins during this period.
FIVE F&B OUTLETS FINED FOR BREACHING SAFETY RULES
A total of five F&B outlets were also fined S$1,000 each from Oct 8 to Oct 13 for breaching COVID-19 safety measures, said STB in the release.
Bagus Sio Good at Far East Plaza, Chuan Yang Ji Mutton Soup Steamboat at South Bridge Road, The Hot Gathering at Upper Cross Street and Komala's Restaurant at Serangoon Road all failed to ensure 1m safe distancing between seated customers, said the authority.
Another restaurant, Beauty in a Pot at The Centrepoint, accepted a booking of more than five people, said STB. Enforcement officers had found that the restaurant allowed a group of six to be seated at the same table.
Between Oct 6 to Oct 14, STB said it also issued fines - ranging from S$300 to S$1,000 - to 16 people who failed to wear a mask.
STB added that two other establishments were also under investigation for conducting business despite not being permitted to do so.
One of them, a bar located at Concorde Shopping Centre, was opened on Oct 9 despite not having a valid food shop license, said STB.
The bar, 72 Mad Monk allowed customers to play pool and drink alcohol past 10.30pm. Under COVID-19 regulations, establishments are not permitted to provide games unless they have an amusement centre license.
On Oct 10, two people were also found consuming alcohol at Kris Bollywood at Concorde Hotel past 10.30pm, added STB.
"The establishment is not permitted to operate as it is classed as a public entertainment venue and does not hold a valid food shop license," said the agency.
First-time offenders could face a fine of up to S$10,000 for breaching COVID-19 measures.