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Converted ex-nightspots face tougher penalties for glaring Covid-19 breaches; some still offer live shows, hostesses

SINGAPORE — For flouting Covid-19 regulations, operators of former nightlife spots that have temporarily been converted into eateries will risk getting their food or liquor licences revoked.

Government agencies will now exercise their regulatory powers to revoke the public entertainment or liquor licences of offending nightlife operators.

Government agencies will now exercise their regulatory powers to revoke the public entertainment or liquor licences of offending nightlife operators.

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  • Tougher action will be taken against converted nightlife establishments that break Covid-19 rules
  • Severe breaches of rules will result in suspension of food, liquor or public entertainment licences 
  • Ten more premises have been ordered to close and 20 outlets fined for Covid-19 offences

 

SINGAPORE — For flouting Covid-19 regulations, operators of former nightlife spots that have temporarily been converted into eateries will risk getting their food or liquor licences revoked.

In a statement on Friday (May 14), the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) also said that a total of 30 establishments including former nightlife spots had been either closed temporarily or fined for breaches. Another 30 individuals had been fined.

MSE said that some of these converted nightspots have continued to host now-banned activities such as live entertainment and games as well as employing hostesses.

These “flagrant” breaches carry much higher public health risks, and government agencies will adopt stricter measures to punish “egregious breaches” of Covid-19 rules, the ministry said.

It added that the vast majority of repeated egregious breaches have been committed by nightlife spots that have recently converted into serving food and beverages, through a government scheme to support these establishments through Covid-19 restrictions.

Pubs, bars, nightclubs, discotheques and karaoke lounges have been barred from operating in their original form since March last year.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has since granted more than 400 of these operators a food shop or snack counter licence so that they may continue running businesses through the pandemic.

The authorities on Friday also gave some examples of what constituted an “egregious” offence.

Club Peaches at Concorde Shopping Mall along Orchard Road, for example, was found to have engaged hostesses who intermingled with different groups of patrons across multiple tables on May 2. It was the club’s third offence and it was ordered closed for 30 days.

Another example it gave was MZS Family Karaoke at Ming Arcade along Cuscaden Road, which was caught last December for serving alcohol past 10.30pm and allowing a group of 51 people to gather. It was again caught on May 8 for serving alcohol after 10.30pm and was ordered to close for 20 days.

MSE also gave examples of outlets that have been caught at least twice for glaring breaches of safe management measures. It did not provide details of the penalties imposed for some of them.

The outlets were:

  • MZS Family Karaoke at Ming Arcade along Cuscaden Road

  • Club Peaches at Concorde Shopping Mall along Orchard Road

  • Club One Min at Concorde Shopping Mall 

  • Club Mao by Barcode at Oriental Plaza along New Bridge Road

  • The Drinks Emporium along Club Street

  • Hooha Restaurant & Cafe at Viva Vista along South Buona Vista Road

  • Cheers Up at 2 Havelock along Havelock Road

  • Alive@Sg Pub at Lucky Plaza along Orchard Road

  • Destiny Japanese KTV at Cuppage Plaza along Koek Road

  • Tangmen Restaurant at Orchard Plaza along Orchard Road

Except for Tangmen Restaurant, all of them are nightlife establishments that have converted to serving food and beverages.

TOUGHER ACTION, LICENSING CHANGES

With immediate effect, former nightlife operators now running food-and-beverage (F&B) businesses and found to have committed egregious breaches of safety regulations will have their food licences revoked.

They must stop operations immediately until the nightlife sector is allowed to reopen in the future or until their re-application for a new food licence is approved.

Government agencies will now also exercise their regulatory powers to revoke the public entertainment or liquor licences of offending nightlife operators.

These operators will not be allowed to reopen, provide public entertainment such as music performances, or sell alcohol even when the nightlife sector is allowed to resume business.

Nightlife operators intending to operate F&B establishments must now file a Change of Use application with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to obtain planning permission to convert the premises into an F&B unit.

Applicants must submit details of their proposed business concepts such as a food and drinks menu, as well as a layout plan of the premises for URA’s assessment. They must also provide details of their plans to remove any bar-related signages.

SFA will proceed to process the food-shop licence application only upon URA’s approval for the premises to be converted.

For nightlife operators that have already temporarily converted to F&B operators, they must now apply for Change of Use before the end of their one-year endorsement by URA if they wish to continue operating an F&B business.

Nightlife establishments may continue to apply for a grant of up to S$50,000 from trade agency Enterprise Singapore to defray qualifying costs incurred during the Change of Use process. This support is available until Sept 30.

OUTLETS ORDERED SHUT, FINED

MSE said in its statement on Friday that 10 more premises have been ordered to close for breaking Covid-19 regulations.

The offences include allowing intermingling between groups of more than eight customers, failing to keep at least a 1m distance between seated customers and allowing freelance hostesses entry.

The 10 premises were:

  • Club Illusion on River Valley Road: Closed for 10 days from May 6 to 15

  • English Football Museum on River Valley Road: Closed for 10 days from May 8 to 17

  • The Malayan Council along Bussorah Street: Closed for 10 days from May 8 to 17

  • Haru at Central Mall along Magazine Road: Closed for 10 days from May 9 to 18

  • Jag’s@Siglap along East Coast Road: Closed for 10 days from May 13 to 22

  • Destiny Japanese KTV at Cuppage Plaza: Closed for 30 days from May 8 to June 6

  • Siem Reap Indochine along Lorong Mambong at Holland Village: Closed for 10 days from May 13 to 22.

  • One 4 D’Road Bar at Far East Shopping Centre on Orchard Road: Closed for 10 days from May 9 to 18

  • MZS Family Karaoke at Ming Arcade: Closed for 20 days from May 9 to 28

  • New Udon Thai Food at Golden Mile Complex on Beach Road: Close for 10 days from May 7 to 16

Some of the establishments, such as Destiny Japanese KT, MZS Family Karaoke and New Udon Thai Food, are repeat offenders.

Another 20 outlets were issued fines of S$1,000, or S$2,000 for repeated offences, for breaking rules.

They included not ensuring that queuing customers were spaced more than 1m apart, providing dice games and poker cards, or providing self-service buffet.

The 20 eateries or pubs were:

  • Blu Kouzina on Dempsey Road

  • The Dempsey Project on Dempsey Road

  • Jumbo on Dempsey Road

  • La Forketta on Dempsey Road

  • Wine Company at Dempsey Hill

  • Two Men Bagel House at Holland Village along Lorong Liput

  • Titanium Pub at Tanglin Shopping Centre along Tanglin Road

  • Bukit Batok 105 Food House along Bukit Batok Street 11

  • Great Eater along Bukit Batok Street 11

  • Derwish Turkish on Bussorah Street

  • Lepak@Rayz on Bussorah Street

  • Padi Bussorah on Bussorah Street

  • Piedra Negra on Arab Street

  • Beau along Haji Lane

  • Blueberry Hill Pub & Cafe at Sembawang Hills Estate along Jalan Leban

  • Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee on Upper Changi Road

  • NY Night Market at 313@Somerset mall along Orchard Road

  • Central Perk Cafe at Central Mall on Magazine Road (second offence)

  • Steamov on Beach Road (second offence)

  • The Malayan Council along Winstedt Road (second offence)

WATER FACILITIES AT PARKS CLOSED

All water play areas and water recreational facilities in parks and gardens managed by the National Parks Board (NParks) will be closed from May 8 to 30, MSE said.

NParks will temporarily close access to some parks and sections of beaches and facilities, such as shelters and car parks, when these areas get too crowded.

The ministry added that 30 people were fined for breaking Covid-19 regulations over the weekend, from May 8 to 9, at parks and beaches managed by NParks.

Related topics

Covid-19 business F&B safe distancing nightlife MSE

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