Singapore fines 77 for breaking Covid-19 rules at parks, beaches during heightened alert phase; two eateries ordered shut

The situation at East Coast Park on the first day of tighter Covid-19 rules during the heightened alert phase on May 16, 2021. — Picture by Raj Nadarajan/TODAY
The situation at East Coast Park on the first day of tighter Covid-19 rules during the heightened alert phase on May 16, 2021. — Picture by Raj Nadarajan/TODAY

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SINGAPORE, June 11 — Seventy-seven people have been handed fines for breaking Covid-19 regulations since Singapore went on heightened alert against the coronavirus last month.

They were fined for flouting rules in parks run by the National Parks Board (NParks), the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said in a statement today.

The breaches include failing to wear masks when not doing strenuous exercise and gathering in groups of more than two people.

The present heightened alert phase, which began on May 16, forbids gatherings of more than two people. Dining in at eateries is also banned.

In one case, two groups of eight gathered at Changi Beach Park and East Coast Park.

MSE said that NParks also issued more than 6,000 advisories to individuals for not wearing masks, and more than 800 advisories for gatherings of more than two.

“To ensure that parks remain safe for everyone, NParks will continue to temporarily close access to some parks, and 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,” the ministry said.

Hot spots

Meanwhile, parks and common areas of public housing estates, including hard courts, basketball courts and pavilions, have been identified as hot spots where Covid-19 rules are more frequently flouted.

Government agencies nailed down these spots based on public feedback and observations, and have stepped up enforcement checks.

To keep the community safe, agencies will shut facilities at these places should there be repeated breaches.

MSE gave the example of a pavilion at Block 90 Pipit Road in Geylang, which was cordoned off on May 31, after more than a dozen people were found to have gathered there for dance sessions several times.

Errant shops

Separately, two food-and-beverage stores have been ordered to shut temporarily for breaking pandemic rules. 

The orders will take effect as soon as dining in resumes. The Government announced on Thursday that should Covid-19 remain under control, this could happen from June 21. 

The first eatery, The Starz Bistro on East Coast Road, let customers dine in on May 22 and drink alcohol after 10.30pm. It was ordered to close for 10 days.

The second store, Steamov Steamboat Buffet Restaurant on Beach Road, allowed people to dine in on May 28 at 9.30pm. As this was the restaurant’s third offence, it was directed to shut for 30 days.

Two supermarkets were also each fined S$1,000 for not having staff members oversee its safe entry checkpoints.

They are the Giant supermarket at Bedok Shopping Complex on Bedok Road and the Cold Storage supermarket at Siglap V condominium on First Street.

As Singapore loosens restrictions from next Monday to allow gatherings of up to five people, MSE said that the authorities would increase enforcement checks and act firmly against breaches. 

“We seek everyone’s cooperation to remain socially responsible and unwavering in working together to curb the transmission of Covid-19.” — TODAY

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