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Singapore

Orchard Hotel fined, ordered to suspend bookings after 11 people gathered in room for birthday celebration

SINGAPORE: Orchard Hotel has been fined and ordered to suspend room bookings for 30 days after 11 people were found to have gathered in a room, said the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) on Friday (Jun 25). 

Under COVID-19 safe management measures during Phase 3 of Singapore's reopening, hotels were not allowed to have more than eight people in a room, unless they are all from the same household. Phase 3 ran from Dec 28, 2020 to May 15.

The 11 people were found by Singapore Tourism Board's (STB) enforcement officers to have gathered in a hotel room for a birthday celebration on Feb 6.

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

The hotel, located at 442 Orchard Road, was fined S$1,000 and will not be allowed to accept new bookings from Jun 25 to Jul 24, both dates inclusive. It may continue to fulfil existing bookings made prior to the suspension.

"Further investigations of the individuals involved are ongoing, and enforcement action may be taken against them," said MSE. 

"STB will continue to conduct regular checks and take strict enforcement action against any breaches by hotels and individuals."

117 PEOPLE FINED FOR COVID-19 BREACHES AT PARK, BEACHES

A total of 117 people have been fined for breaching safe management measures in parks and beaches managed by the National Parks Board (NParks) since the start of Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) on Jun 14. During Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) only five people are allowed to gather in a group.

"These breaches include not wearing masks when not engaging in strenuous exercises, and gathering in groups larger than the permitted size," said MSE.

Seventeen people were caught gathering in Changi Beach Park, while another group of 13 people was found at East Coast Park. Additionally, about 1,800 advisories were issued to people for breaches, said MSE.

READ: Singapore to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination programme, increasing daily doses by 70%

All water play areas, water recreational facilities, campsites and barbecue pits in NParks-managed parks and gardens will remain closed until further notice.

"NParks will temporarily close access to some parks, sections of beaches, lawns, and facilities – such as hard courts, shelters and car parks – when these areas get too crowded or where people remain non-compliant with safe management measures, to ensure that the parks remain safe for everyone," said MSE.

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

"We request all park visitors to be socially responsible and observe safe management measures such as keeping to the permitted group size, and to wear a mask except when engaging in strenuous exercises or consuming food, drink or medication, to keep our green spaces safe for everyone," added the ministry.

READ: Singapore on track to increasing group sizes for 'higher-risk' settings in July, including for dining-in: Lawrence Wong

The ministry urged people to "strictly follow" all safety measures and practise good hygiene, especially in high-risk settings such as when dining in at food and beverage establishments, to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Agencies will enforce against any breaches of safe management measures at these premises and "identified hotspots" based on public feedback and ground observations, it said. These areas include parks, beaches, and common areas of Housing Board estates such as hardcourts, basketball courts and pavilions. 

First-time individual offenders face a composition fine of S$300, while repeat offenders will face higher fines, or prosecution in court for egregious cases. 

Operators that breach COVID-19 measures, including 1m safe distancing between groups of diners, face closures for first offences. 

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Source: CNA/ad

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