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77 people fined for COVID-19 breaches at parks; enforcement stepped up at hotspots including HDB common areas

77 people fined for COVID-19 breaches at parks; enforcement stepped up at hotspots including HDB common areas

Notices about new COVID-19 restrictions are posted at the entrance to a park in Singapore, May 20, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: A total of 77 people have been fined for breaching COVID-19 regulations in parks since the start of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said on Friday (Jun 11).

These individuals flouted safe management measures in parks managed by the National Parks Board (NParks). Some of them had gathered in groups of more than two people while others did not wear a mask even though they were not engaging in strenuous exercises.

MSE said two groups of eight individuals were caught gathering in Changi Beach Park and East Coast Park.

NParks has also issued more than 6,000 advisories to individuals for not wearing masks and more than 800 advisories for gathering in groups of more than two people, added MSE.

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To ensure that parks remain safe for all, NParks will continue to temporarily close access to some parks, as well as sections of beaches, lawns, and facilities when those areas get too crowded or where people remain non-compliant with safe management measures, said MSE.

These facilities include areas such as hard courts, shelters and car parks.

Members of the public are advised to check the Safe Distance @ Parks portal for the latest updates on visitorship levels before heading to parks. 

“We request all park visitors to be socially responsible and to keep our green spaces safe for everyone. Visitors should observe safe management measures such as keeping to allowable group sizes, as well as wearing a mask except when engaging in strenuous exercises or consuming food, drink or medication,” said MSE.

MORE ENFORCEMENT AT PARKS, HDB ESTATE COMMON AREAS

MSE said agencies have also stepped up enforcement at hotspots including parks and Housing Board (HDB) estate common areas such as basketball courts and pavilions.

This comes after public feedback and ground observations of areas where safe management measures were more frequently breached.

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Where repeated breaches of safe management measures have been observed, agencies will close off facilities to ensure the safety of the community, said MSE.

MSE cited an example where more than a dozen people were found gathering at a pavilion at Block 90 Pipit Road for dance sessions on several occasions.

In view of the multiple breaches of the safe management measures, the pavilion was cordoned off on May 31.

“We therefore urge members of the public to use these facilities responsibly,” said MSE.

From Jun 14, the limit on group sizes for social gatherings will be increased from two to five people, as part of the first step in Singapore’s plan to move back to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert).

Five distinct visitors per household daily will also be allowed and social gatherings should be limited to no more than two a day.

More restrictions will be eased from Jun 21, when dining-in will be allowed to resume if the COVID-19 situation remains under control in the coming weeks. 

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Source: CNA/zl

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