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88 face probe for breach of Covid-19 laws after police raids on 2 separate gatherings

SINGAPORE — Eighty-eight people aged between 17 and 56 are being investigated for allegedly not complying with safe-distancing rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at two separate social gatherings.

On Feb 19, 2021, the police raided a residential unit along Emerald Hill Road (pictured), where 23 people were allegedly drinking, smoking and singing there.

On Feb 19, 2021, the police raided a residential unit along Emerald Hill Road (pictured), where 23 people were allegedly drinking, smoking and singing there.

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SINGAPORE — Eighty-eight people aged between 17 and 56 are being investigated for allegedly not complying with safe-distancing rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at two separate social gatherings.

In a news release on Tuesday (Feb 23), the police said that they had received information on Feb 6, a Saturday, about a gathering in an office unit along Genting Lane near MacPherson estate.

When officers arrived at the unit, 65 people — 48 men and 17 women — were allegedly drinking and socialising there.

In a separate incident on Feb 19, the police raided a residential unit along Emerald Hill Road.

Twenty-three people — 14 men and nine women — were allegedly drinking, smoking and singing inside the home. During the raid, the police arrested a 23-year-old Chinese national who was purportedly working there as a server without a valid work permit.

The man was arrested for contravention of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, the police said. If found guilty of being employed without a valid work pass, he could be jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$20,000, or both.

In the two incidents, the police said that public entertainment and liquor were believed to have been provided without a valid licence. Karaoke equipment and supplies of alcohol were seized as case exhibits.

A 30-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman — believed to be the operators of the Genting Lane and Emerald Hill Road units respectively — will be investigated for offences under the Public Entertainments Act and Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act 2015.

The offences of providing public entertainment and supplying liquor without a valid licence each carry a fine of up to S$20,000.

The authorities stressed that members of the public are advised to take the prevailing safe-distancing rules seriously.

If found guilty of breaking the laws, an offender could be jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or both.

The police said that they will continue to take tough enforcement action against illicit activities.

“Those found engaging in illicit activities, or in breach of safe distancing measures, will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law.” 

Last Friday, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said that the stricter Covid-19 measures that were introduced before Chinese New Year will remain in place for a few weeks after the festivities are over. The last day of Chinese New year falls on Feb 26 this year.

The measures — which were put in place since Jan 26 in light of an increase in the number of Covid-19 community cases — include a limit of eight visitors fr each household each day and a maximum of two households that people should visit a day.

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Covid-19 coronavirus safe distancing breach investigation

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