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200 people caught on April 18 for breaking safe distancing rules; 80 face fines for not wearing masks

SINGAPORE — Almost 200 people were caught flouting safe distancing measures on Saturday (April 18), and over 80 more face fines for not wearing a mask outside their homes, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.

Two National Environment Agency officers patrolling Chong Boon Market to ensure safe distancing is practised during an enforcement operation on April 10, 2020.

Two National Environment Agency officers patrolling Chong Boon Market to ensure safe distancing is practised during an enforcement operation on April 10, 2020.

SINGAPORE — Almost 200 people were caught flouting safe distancing measures on Saturday (April 18), and over 80 more face fines for not wearing a mask outside their homes, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.

“At least two were repeat offenders, and they face a composition fine of S$1,000. These are disappointing numbers,” he wrote on Facebook, noting that Singapore was into its second weekend of circuit breaker measures, with the closure of schools and non-essential businesses.

“These are challenging times, but I urge everyone to stay home as much as possible, to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. If you have to go out, please remember to wear a mask and comply with safe-distancing measures.”

He said that it is unacceptable that some of the offenders have abused enforcement officers and safe distancing ambassadors and there must be zero tolerance towards such acts of violence.

“The police will not hesitate to take strong action against perpetrators of such acts,” he said, noting that one man was charged in court on Saturday for allegedly using criminal force against a safe distancing ambassador on April 12.

Mr Masagos urged members of the public not to take it upon themselves to confront anyone who flouts safe distancing measures.

They should instead report it through the OneService app instead, he said.

“Our officers will do their best to address the matter.”

Authorities said earlier this week that 3,000 safe distancing ambassadors and enforcement officers from various government agencies have been deployed daily to public spaces and in public housing estates across Singapore.

They are to ensure, among other things, that people are keeping a safe distance of at least 1m away from each other; not eating at food outlets; not loitering or gathering in public; and not exercising at sports facilities that are closed.

First-time offenders, including those who do not wear masks when they leave home, will be fined S$300 while repeat offenders will be fined S$1,000 or prosecuted in court for serious cases.

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Covid-19 coronavirus safe distancing Masagos Zulkifli

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