2 F&B outlets to be charged for COVID-19 rule breaches; 4 others ordered to close for 10 days

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·5 min read
Kim’s Place Seafood Restaurant was found to have allowed an extended family of more than five to be seated across three tables on 12 September 2020. (PHOTO: Urban Redevelopment Authority)
Kim’s Place Seafood Restaurant was found to have allowed an extended family of more than five to be seated across three tables on 12 September 2020. (PHOTO: Urban Redevelopment Authority)

SINGAPORE — The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has filed charges against two food-and-beverages (F&B) operators for breaches of COVID-19 safe management measures (SMM) last year.

The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said in a media release on Friday (29 January) that Mark Enterprise, operator of the Try Again bistro bar at Circular Road, will be charged for allegedly continuing operations on 18 July last year, despite being issued an order to close its premises for 10 days from 18 to 27 July due to multiple prior SMM infringements.

Charges were also filed against Kim’s Place Seafood Restaurant at Joo Chiat Place, allegedly for allowing gatherings of more than five persons split across multiple tables during Phase 2 of reopening after the circuit breaker period.The F&B outlet also allowed karaoke activities on its premises on 7 and 12 September last year.

URA has also filed charges against Singapore Straits Wine Company, which allegedly organised a company gathering at Kim’s Place Seafood involving 26 staff members on 7 September. The 26 individuals have each been fined $300.

Kim’s Place Seafood was additionally issued two closure orders, totalling 30 days, from 6 January to 4 February.

Both F&B operators will be charged in court on Tuesday.

F&B outlets fined and ordered to close, 131 individuals fined

Following checks on F&B premises, malls and other public space on 22 and 23 January, four F&B outlets have been ordered to close, while six outlets and 131 individuals were fined for breaching SMMs.

The four F&B outlets ordered to close are:

  • Xiao Yao Ge (350 Jurong East Avenue 1): The outlet was found to have committed a third offence of seating different groups of diners less than one metre apart on 23 January. The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has ordered the operator to close for 10 days from 28 January to 6 February.

  • Main Entrance (40 Sago Street): The outlet was found to have allowed a gathering of more than eight individuals, failed to conduct temperature checks at the entrance, and allowed customers to make speeches on 23 January. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has ordered the operator to close for 10 days from 26 January to 4 February.

  • My Heritage Food and Beverage Trading, trading as Killiney Kopitiam: The outlet at Lucky Plaza failed to conduct temperature checks at the entrance and to ensure its customers performed SafeEntry check-ins for contact tracing on 26 January. STB has ordered the operator to close for 10 days from 27 January to 5 February. The establishment was previously issued composition fines of $1,000 on 3 August and $2,000 on 2 November for similar infringements.

  • Tian Ya Hai Jiao KTV (2 Aliwal Street): The outlet, which had received approval to pivot its karaoke operations to F&B, was found to be serving alcohol to diners past 10.30pm on 10 January. URA has ordered the operator to close the premises for 10 days from 23 January to 1 February.

Meanwhile, four F&B outlets were each fined $1,000 for breaching SMMs, while another two outlets were each fined $2,000 for repeat offences. Breaches included seating groups of diners less than one metre apart, accepting bookings for more than eight individuals, and seating groups of more than eight individuals together.

The outlets are: Dong Bei Ren Jia (22 Upper Cross Street), Mei Heong Yuen Dessert (76 Temple Street – repeat offender), Spring Court Restaurant (52/56 Upper Cross Street), Lao Si Chuan Dou Hua Zhuang (46 Temple Street), The Hot Pot Gathering (32 Upper Cross Street – repeat offender) and The Temple Restaurant (25 Trengganu Street).

Nine individuals from The Temple Restaurant and 18 individuals from Main Entrance were each fined $300 for gathering in groups that were larger than eight.

Another 104 individuals were fined for breaching SMMs on 23 and 24 January in parks and beaches managed by the National Parks Board (NParks).

These breaches included gathering in groups of more than eight people and intermingling. In Changi Beach Park alone, 27 individuals were each fined $300 for breaching SMMs on the two days.

Public advised to observe SMMs during CNY period

MSE has advised the public to continue to observe SMMs during the upcoming Chinese New Year festive season to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 community transmission.

The Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced last week that households are limited to eight unique visitors a day during Chinese New Year. Individuals should also limit themselves to visiting at most two other households per day.

For the tossing of yusheng (raw fish), masks must be worn and the ceremony should be done without any verbalisation of the auspicious phrases or toasting.

Multiple table bookings at F&B premises for groups larger than eight persons are strictly prohibited, unless the diners are from the same household. Intermingling across different tables is not allowed.

“In the run-up to the festive period, there are already anecdotal reports of F&B outlets accepting bookings for large groups and breaking them into smaller tables, and diners making bookings for large groups under different names,” MSE said in the media release.

“We strongly advise F&B operators to double-check the reservations they have already received to ensure that the bookings are in order. We also urge diners to not try to circumvent the rules.”

While the ministry said that agencies are stepping up enforcement inspections during the festive period, it has debunked an audio clip circulating on WhatsApp about people being hired to enforce household visit rules during Chinese New Year.

The clip had alleged that 5,000 individuals are being engaged to check households for breaches of the eight-person visitor limit, but MSE told The Straits Times that there is no such hiring exercise being conducted by enforcement agencies.

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