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2 men to be charged with breaching COVID-19 regulations at birthday gathering

2 men to be charged with breaching COVID-19 regulations at birthday gathering

A courtroom gavel. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: Two men will be charged in court with breaching safe distancing measures under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). 

In a press release on Monday (Feb 1), BCA said 13 people were found to have breached safe distancing measures at a social gathering in a residential unit on Oct 2 last year. 

The owner of the unit, a 53-year-old man, allegedly allowed 12 people who were not members of his household to enter and remain at his place of residence at Daisy Road for a birthday celebration. 

Between Jun 19 and Dec 27 last year, during Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening, an individual was not allowed to have more than five visitors enter his or her unit at any time unless for permitted purposes. 

One of the visitors to the birthday celebration, a 50-year-old man, also allegedly breached regulations by gathering outside of his residence with 12 other people not from the same household, said BCA. 

The 50-year-old had "allegedly invited three of the visitors to the place of residence, despite knowing that doing so would cause the gathering to exceed the permissible number of individuals", said BCA. 

Responding to CNA's queries, BCA said the two men will be charged in court on Mar 2.

First-time offenders can be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to six months or both. 

The other 11 visitors who attended the same gathering were issued with a composition fine of S$300 each for participating in the social gathering of more than five people. 

"In deciding to issue them a composition fine instead of prosecuting them, the level of their culpability in relation to the breach was taken into account," said BCA. 

An advisory was also issued to the management corporation of the premise as a reminder to ensure that the relevant safe management measures are complied with.

BCA did not give the names of those involved and declined to do so when asked by CNA.

However, Mediacorp issued a statement following BCA's press release saying that it has cooperated fully with the authorities on their investigations. 

"We do not condone the actions of the four artistes and the company has conducted an internal review and disciplinary actions will be taken," Mediacorp said in a statement.

Several Mediacorp artistes apologised in December for breaching social distancing rules after a photo of 13 people standing close together and not wearing masks was published.

The artistes in the photo were originally identified as Jeffrey Xu, Shane Pow and Terence Cao. Mediacorp said later that a fourth artiste, 987FM deejay Sonia Chew, was also present at the gathering. 

READ: Jeffrey Xu, Shane Pow, Terence Cao, Sonia Chew apologise for breaking social distancing rules

In its statement on Monday, Mediacorp said it "constantly" briefs and reminds its artistes to adhere to safe management guidelines, both in their professional and personal capacities.

"The artistes deeply regret and take responsibility for their actions. They apologise for the mistake and assure everyone that this will not happen again," added Mediacorp.

BCA said: "The authorities urge homeowners and (management corporations) MCSTs to do their part in curbing the spread of COVID-19, especially during the upcoming festive period."

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Source: CNA/lk


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