SINGAPORE: Ten people were charged in court on Friday (Feb 5) with breaking COVID-19 regulations by gathering on a yacht on Boxing Day last year.
This comes after a video of a group of 10 partying on a white yacht near Lazarus Island went viral, drawing flak from netizens.
The accused are: British nationals Mark Alexander Bellamy, 29, Annabelle Morgan Duke, 26, Holmes Philip Edward Knatchbull, 27, Amy Alexandra Stewart, 32, Amy Georgina Hunt, 30, Amy Grace Ropner, 28, Oliver Francis William Campbell, 31, Thomas Cuthbert Williams-Jones, 30, Benjamin David Waters, 32, and Singapore permanent resident Mark Lau San Mao, 30.
They were each given one charge of boarding pleasure craft ADVANT between 11am and 4pm on Dec 26 last year with nine other individuals outside of their homes for a social purpose without reasonable excuse.
They are accused of breaching COVID-19 regulations controlling large gatherings in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Most of them will return to court on Feb 26, while Ropner and Lau are set to plead guilty next month.
At the time of the offence, Singapore was in Phase 2 of its reopening, with a maximum limit of five people imposed on gatherings outside the home.
Singapore entered Phase 3 on Dec 28, with social gatherings of up to eight people now allowed in public.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said last month that the ADVANT vessel would be suspended for 30 days over the incident.
Photos and videos of the incident circulating on social media showed about 10 people on the pleasure craft, with some dancing and wearing Santa hats.
Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, individuals found to have committed an offence may be fined up to S$10,000, jailed up to six months, or both, for their first conviction.
Subsequent offences carry a maximum fine of S$20,000, imprisonment up to 12 months, or both.