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3 more F&B outlets ordered to close for flouting COVID-19 rules

3 more F&B outlets ordered to close for flouting COVID-19 rules

A group of 15 people dine at a restaurant at 39 Hong Kong Street while seated across four tables and intermingling on Sep 12, 2020 at 9.10pm. (Photo: URA)

SINGAPORE: Three more food and beverage establishments were ordered to close recently for breaching COVID-19 rules, said the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment (MSE) on Tuesday (Sep 22).

Four other outlets were issued with fines for flouting COVID-19 safety management measures, MSE added in a media release.

This follows enforcement action taken against 18 outlets, which the ministry announced on Sep 17. Three of them were ordered to close, including a restaurant that was told to shut after being found serving beer in teapots.

READ: 23 F&B outlets breach COVID-19 safety rules, including restaurant that served beer in teapots after 11pm

PRIVATE DINNER WITH 15 PAX

Among the latest offenders was a restaurant at 39 Hong Kong Street which hosted a group of 15 people for a private dinner event on Sep 12. 

Officers who were at the location at 9.10pm observed intermingling among the diners who were split across four tables, said MSE.

CNA has asked MSE for the name of the establishment, which was not named in their release.

On the same day at 9.50pm, three groups of patrons each comprising more than five people were seen at the Beer Factory. One of the groups at the premises on 25 Church Street was found to have eight people.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority on Sep 17 ordered the respective operators to close both premises for 10 days from Sep 18 to Sep 27.

The Beer Factory admits three groups of more than five people each, with one group comprising eight people on Sep 12, 2020 at 9.50pm. (Photo: URA)

The other establishment ordered to close was a drinks stall at a coffee shop in Serangoon.

Several patrons were seen by officers to be consuming alcohol on Sep 19 at 10.55pm, past the 10.30pm cut-off time for the sale and consumption of alcohol.

They were drinking at two tables in an outdoor area at Block 261 Serangoon Central Drive.

The Singapore Food Agency on Sep 21 ordered the drinks stall at #01-27 to close for 10 days from Sep 22 to Oct 1.

Patrons consume alcohol at 10.55pm at two tables in the outdoor refreshment area at Block 261 Serangoon Central Drive on Sep 19, 2020. (Photo: SFA)

READ: First-time F&B offenders will now face enforcement action for flouting COVID-19 safe management measures - Lawrence Wong

F&B "HOTSPOTS"

The four outlets that were fined S$1,000 each had breached COVID-19 safety management measures, such as allowing groups more than five to be seated together, intermingling between tables as well as seating different groups less than 1m apart.

They were among a total of seven outlets found to be non-compliant during "stepped-up checks" at food and beverage "hotspots" by Government agencies on Sep 16.

Patrons at two different tables in an F&B outlet in Chinatown are seated less than 1m apart on Sep 18, 2020 at 7.15pm. (Photo: SFA)

Over the weekend of Sep 18 to Sep 20, Government agencies conducted more inspections on 323 outlets in known hotspots.

Among these, 18 were found to be in breach of COVID-19 rules.

"Agencies are reviewing these breaches and the appropriate enforcement actions to be taken, including temporary closure of the outlets and the issuance of fines," said MSE.

An F&B outlet in Clementi does not ensure 1m between groups of customers and has two groups of three people seated at the same table on the afternoon of Sep 20, 2020. (Photo: SFA)

The ministry added that operators and owners of premises are responsible for the implementation of COVID-19 rules, and that they "should not be requesting enforcement officers or safe distancing ambassadors to engage their patrons on safety management measures on their behalf".

As there are still "a minority" of outlets that continue to breach the rules, "the Government will continue to step up enforcement checks at F&B outlets around Singapore to ensure that they remain safe spaces for all", said MSE.

"We also urge patrons to be socially responsible and observe the safety management measures," it added.

READ: MOH investigating if COVID-19 rules breached after new family cluster across 2 households had gatherings

As previously clarified, exceptions to the five-people limit per group can only be made if all members of the group are from the same household. They would have to be seated at multiple tables of at most five people, with at least 1m between the tables.

And in such cases, "establishments can request to verify diners’ claims that they are from the same household, and can reject entry of diners at their discretion", said MSE.

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Source: CNA/jt(rw)

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