21 diners fined for violating virus safety rules; 2 eateries told to close
Twenty-one diners have been fined $300 each for flouting Covid-19 rules at food and beverage outlets, such as not wearing a mask promptly after eating or drinking, intermingling between tables and sitting in groups of more than five.
These breaches were observed in eateries at Resorts World Sentosa, Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said in a statement yesterday.
In addition, two F&B outlets have been ordered to close for 10 days, while 13 outlets were fined for breaching Covid-19 measures.
The two outlets told to close are Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot and Invincible Noodle House. Both eateries are at Boat Quay.
At the hotpot restaurant, nine customers were seen mingling across two tables in a private room last Saturday around 9.15pm, the ministry said.
On the same day at Invincible Noodle House, several customers were found consuming alcohol at 11.40pm.
The sale and consumption of liquor is not allowed at F&B outlets after 10.30pm under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority issued an order to both eateries, requiring the operators to close the premises for a period of 10 days, from Oct 3 to 12.
The 13 F&B outlets fined were taken to task for seating groups of more than five from different households together, allowing groups to mingle between tables, seating groups less than 1m apart, and not ensuring that food handlers wear masks properly.
One outlet was fined $2,000 for repeat offences while the other 12 were fined $1,000.
MSE reiterated that masks should be worn at all times except when eating or drinking, or doing strenuous activities, regardless of premises.
However, a recent informal poll online of 130 people by The Sunday Times found that while most people were aware of the masking policy, they appeared to take varied approaches when dining out.
F&B outlets fined
• Aburi-EN, VivoCity
• Chuan Grill & Noodle Bar, River Valley
• Chu Lin Bar , Chu Lin Road
• Don Ho, Keong Saik Road
• Feng Shui Inn, Resorts World Sentosa
• Hong Hu Restaurant, Beach Road (2nd offence)
• Mrs Pho, VivoCity
• Nakhon Kitchen, VivoCity
• Riverwalk Tandoor, Upper Circular Road
• Tai Yuan (Singapore) Business Development, Gangsa Road
• The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Suntec City
• V6 Foodcourt Holdings, Choa Chu Kang Crescent
• Yen, Duxton Hill
Forty-three per cent of those surveyed indicated that they removed their masks just before they started eating or drinking, 26 per cent said they would do so only after a drink arrived, while 17 per cent said they would stay masked until food was served.
Only 12 per cent said they would remove their masks as soon as they sat down at a table.
Post-meal behaviour was equally varied. Forty-three per cent of respondents said they donned their masks immediately after finishing their food, even if their dining partners were still eating, while 34 per cent put on their masks only if they were preparing to leave the table, such as to go to the bathroom.
But 16 per cent said they masked up only after everyone at the table had finished eating and drinking, and 5 per cent said they put on their masks once the table was cleared.
On Sept 29, the ministry announced that enforcement action was taken against 32 diners and 22 F&B outlets, of which eight were ordered to close.
The Government said it will continue with enforcement checks at F&B outlets to ensure that they remain safe spaces for all.
“Agencies will not hesitate to take enforcement actions against both patrons and premises that do not comply with safe management measures.”
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