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Day One of Covid-19 ‘circuit breaker’: Over 7,000 advisories issued to people who didn’t comply with safe-distancing measures

SINGAPORE — More than 7,000 written advisories were issued to members of the public on Tuesday (April 7) — the first day the authorities restricted the movement of people here to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

An enforcement officer doing an inspection at a coffee shop in Bedok North. Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, said that from April 8, 2020 onwards, the authorities will not hesitate to issue stern warnings that will lead to fines for people who still continue to gather in public.

An enforcement officer doing an inspection at a coffee shop in Bedok North. Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, said that from April 8, 2020 onwards, the authorities will not hesitate to issue stern warnings that will lead to fines for people who still continue to gather in public.

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SINGAPORE — More than 7,000 written advisories were issued to members of the public on Tuesday (April 7) — the first day the authorities restricted the movement of people here to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

These individuals had “breached the elevated safe-distancing measures”, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) said in a media statement. 

Most of the offences took place in hawker centres or markets.

The ministry said that the written advisories issued included those given to members of the public at crowded markets to remind them to keep a safe distance when queuing up or making payments by following the markings on the floor.

An advisory was also issued to a stallholder at a hawker centre for selling drinks intended for dine-in.

In a Facebook post, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, said that from Wednesday onwards, the authorities will not hesitate to issue stern warnings that will lead to fines for people who still continue to gather in public.

“This includes those who continue to gather in groups at void decks, playgrounds or community parks, even if they are doing nothing but chit-chatting,” he said.

"The health of all depends on each and every one of us working together. I strongly urge everyone to take safe distancing seriously, and to heed the advice and guidance of our Ambassadors and Enforcement Officers. We should not need to deploy precious resources if we all cooperate."

MEWR said that more than 2,000 Safe Distancing and SG Clean Ambassadors, and Enforcement Officers were deployed to the Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates across Singapore on Tuesday to ensure the observation of safe-distancing measures.

Together with other relevant agencies, they had covered premises such as town centres, hawker centres, coffee shops, transport nodes, parks, as well as community clubs and centres.

PUBLIC REMINDED TO STAY HOME

MEWR said that members of the public are “strongly reminded” to comply with the elevated safe-distancing measures imposed until May 4.

“Non-compliance is an offence,” the ministry said, adding that if a person is found in breach of the measures, he or she will be issued with a written advisory immediately.

The enforcement officer would then take down his or her particulars and issue a stern warning if the person does not comply or “returns to commit the same offence”.

The police may be called for follow-up action.

MEWR stressed that Singaporeans should stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Stay home unless you are going to the doctor when unwell, or going out to buy food and essential items, or exercising. Singaporeans should stay at home to protect themselves, their friends and families. If you go out, ensure safe distancing.” 

Under the Covid-19 Temporary Measures Bill that was later passed in Parliament on Tuesday, first-time offenders will face a maximum fine of S$10,000, jail of up to six months, or both.

Second or subsequent offenders may face a maximum fine of S$20,000, jail of up to 12 months, or both.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus circuit breaker safe distancing MEWR

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