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61 people fined for breaking Covid-19 rules at parks and beaches; more checks at F&B outlets to come

SINGAPORE — Over the last weekend, 61 people have been fined for breaking Covid-19 rules at public parks and beaches, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said on Friday (June 18). It also said that there will be more inspections to make sure food-and-beverage (F&B) establishments comply with the laws.

A scene at East Coast Park on May 9, 2021.

A scene at East Coast Park on May 9, 2021.

SINGAPORE — Over the last weekend, 61 people have been fined for breaking Covid-19 rules at public parks and beaches, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said on Friday (June 18). It also said that there will be more inspections to make sure food-and-beverage (F&B) establishments comply with the laws.

The ministry reminded F&B operators to follow the regulations strictly when dine-in services resume from next Monday:

  • Ensure that groups of diners are spaced at least 1m apart, measured between their chairs

  • Do not admit groups of more than two people, even if they are split across multiple tables. Groups of people can be seated across multiple tables at eateries, at two persons for each table, only if they are from the same household

  • Prevent customers from intermingling between groups

  • Do not sell alcohol or allow it to be consumed past 10.30pm

  • Do not play any form of music or sounds on speakers or screen anything on television

  • Do not allow any employee or patron to sing, provide live entertainment or play games

A recap on what are some of the penalties:

  • People caught breaching safety regulations at F&B outlets for the first time will face a composition fine of S$300

  • Repeat offenders will face higher fines or prosecution in court for extremely bad cases such as blatantly ignoring the rules 

  • F&B operators will be ordered to close for first-time offences and this will take effect when eateries are allowed to reopen for dine-in customers on June 21. For example, if the business fails to ensure that groups of diners are seated at least 1m apart, it will be asked to close

For nightlife establishments that have been allowed to carry out F&B operations, MSE warned that government agencies “reserve the right” to permanently revoke their food shop, public entertainment or liquor licences if they break any Covid-19 laws, even if it is their first offence.

Under the regulations now, these establishments are barred from hiring hostesses, hosting live entertainment or allowing customers to play games on their premises.

SOME PARK FACILITIES TO REMAIN CLOSED

Government agencies will also step up enforcement at identified hot spots beyond F&B establishments, based on public feedback and observations by their officers, MSE said.

These hot spots could include parks, beaches and common areas of public housing estates such as basketball courts and pavilions.

The limit of five persons for social gatherings such as those at parks and other public areas will be in force.

All water-play areas, water recreational facilities, campsites and barbecue pits in parks and gardens managed by the National Parks Board (NParks) 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,” MSE said.

It advised members of the public to check the Safe Distance@Parks portal for the crowd levels before heading to parks.

“We are at a critical stage of our national fight against Covid-19,” MSE said. “If we become complacent or negligent, we could well negate all the past efforts and sacrifices we have individually and collectively made.”

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