SINGAPORE: More than 70 individuals and nine F&B outlets were fined and three establishments were ordered to close for breaching COVID-19 regulations, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said on Friday (Feb 5).
A total of 74 individuals were fined S$300 each for breaching safe management measures on Jan 30 and 31 at parks and beaches.
"These breaches included gathering in groups of more than eight people and intermingling between groups," MSE said.
The fines followed checks at food and beverage outlets, malls and other public spaces over the past week to ensure compliance with the measures, the ministry said.
The National Parks Board (NParks) is also investigating two groups - comprising more than 20 people each - who gathered at East Coast Park and Changi Beach Park on Jan 30.
READ: COVID-19 - Additional control measures to be implemented after crowding observed at some hotspots
THREE F&B OUTLETS TO CLOSE
Three F&B outlets have been ordered to close for at least 10 days.
The three are Bumbu at 44 Kandahar Street, Darts Buddy at 28 Beatty Road and Drinks Emporium operated by Adamouse at 83 Club Street.
Bumbu was found to have a group of 14 diners split across two tables at 8.55pm on Jan 29.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) issued an order requiring Bumbu to close for 10 days from Feb 4 until Feb 13.
Darts Buddy and Drinks Emporium were found to have allowed alcohol consumption beyond 10.30pm.
Darts Buddy's main door and shutters were closed when officers made their rounds to conduct enforcement checks.
They had to enter the premises through the rear door, MSE said.
The Singapore Land Authority later issued an order for the operator to close for 10 days from Feb 1 to Feb 10.
At Drinks Emporium, enforcement officers found diners consuming alcohol at 1.10am on Jan 16, and the Singapore Tourism Board ordered the outlet to close for a period of 20 days from Feb 3 to Feb 22.
Drinks Emporium was previously fined S$1,000 and ordered to close for 10 days from Nov 21 to Nov 30 last year for allowing the consumption of alcohol on its premises after 10.30pm and providing games for diners.
"Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, F&B establishments are not permitted to provide games if they are not also an amusement centre," MSE said.
F&B OUTLETS FINED
Nine F&B outlets were fined S$1,000 each for breaching COVID-19 rules.
These included seating groups of diners less than 1m apart and allowing diners to play billiard and pool games within premises.
The nine are Chinatown Seafood at Trengganu Street, FYR at 19 Boon Tat Street, GoroGoro Steamboat & Korean Buffet at The Centrepoint, Kok Sen Restaurant at Keong Saik Road, RCS Sports Bistro at 467 Joo Chiat Road, Bao Ding at 16 Mosque Street, Isle at Orchard Towers, Filing Station Nightclub and Café at Orchard Towers and Chettinadu Restaurant at 41 Chander Road.
ENFORCEMENT INSPECTIONS STEPPED UP
MSE urged the public to be vigilant and observe safe management measures, noting that increased social intermingling during festive periods heightens the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
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.
"We strongly urge members of the public to plan visits to Chinatown and other potentially crowded areas such as shopping malls, F&B outlets, markets, supermarkets and parks, during off peak hours instead," the ministry said.
ADDITIONAL MEASURES IN CHINATOWN
In Chinatown, where there have been heavier crowds over the weekends, STB - together with relevant agencies and community partners - will implement additional measures to better space out the crowds.
These measures include not turning on the Chinatown Chinese New Year street light-up this weekend and on Feb 11.
Visitors who wish to observe the street light-up are encouraged to visit during weekdays or to visit the Chinatown Festivals website instead for a 360-degree virtual tour of the Chinatown Chinese New Year street light-up starting from Feb 5.
To manage the flow of passengers entering directly onto Pagoda Street, the up-riding escalator at Chinatown MRT Exit A to Pagoda Street will be closed from time to time, depending on the street-level crowd situation. Passengers will be guided by station staff to alternative exits at Chinatown MRT, MSE said.
Access control measures at Pagoda Street and Trengganu Street may also be implemented during peak hours over the weekends.
"Visitors should cater for additional time to walk and queue in order to enter the busier stretches of Pagoda Street and Trengganu Street," MSE said.
Members of the public are also encouraged to adapt Chinese New Year celebrations this year in line with tightened measures during the festive period.
"This will help to protect vulnerable members in our community, such as the elderly," the ministry said.