Sago St Eatery Let Customers Make Speeches, Circular Road Bar Stayed Open Despite Being Told To Close
Last week, we saw an increase in Covid-19 community cases, which must have concerned the authorities.
As such, checks on Singapore’s food and beverage (F&B) outlets were stepped up last weekend, to see if safe management measures (SMMs) were being followed.
Unfortunately, 10 eateries were found to have breached the rules, and 1 of them was an outlet of well-known kaya toast and coffee chain Killiney Kopitiam at Lucky Plaza.
2 more F&B operators will also be taken to court for egregious breaches of the rules, including staying open for business when told to close.
Enhanced checks conducted from 22-23 Jan
In a media release on Friday (29 Jan), the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said enhanced checks on F&B businesses were conducted last weekend.
From 22-23 Jan, officers from several government agencies fanned out across Singapore to see whether eateries were complying with safe distancing rules.
Photo for illustration purposes only.
As a result, 4 F&B outlets were ordered to close for 10 days. 4 others were fined $1,000, and 2 more were fined $2,000.
Killiney Kopitiam didn’t ensure SafeEntry check in
One of the outlets ordered to close was the Lucky Plaza branch of Killiney Kopitiam.
MSE said the outlet didn’t make sure that customers checked in via SafeEntry. It also neglected to take their temperatures before they entered.
Thus, STB told the branch to close for 10 days from 27 Jan to 5 Feb.
This apparently wasn’t the 1st offence, as the authorities had previously fined them $1,000 on 3 Aug for a similar offence.
They were fined again on 2 Nov, this time for a sum of $2,000.
Sago Street eatery allowed customers to make speeches
When eateries are punished for flouting SMMs, it’s usually due to typical reasons like allowing large groups and seating them too close to one another.
But F&B outlet called Main Entrance did something more unusual.
The eatery at 40 Sago Street allowed its customers to make speeches at 9.27pm on 23 Jan, the MSE said.
One of the perhaps lesser-known provisions of the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 states that F&B outlets shouldn’t allow customers to make speeches or recitals.
Thus, Main Entrance breached the rules. They also allowed people to gather in groups of more than 8 and failed to check temperatures.
For that, they were ordered to close for 10 days from 26 Jan to 4 Feb.
Additionally, 18 customers who were at Main Entrance that night were fined $300 each for gathering in groups of more than 8.
Jurong East eatery sat customers too close
The whole point of SMMs is to prevent the spread of Covid-19 by spacing people out.
An eatery in Jurong East Avenue 1 named Xiao Yao Ge missed this point by seating 2 customers from different groups back to back.
Obviously, this was less than the stipulated distance of 1m allowed.
They were hence told to close for 10 days from 28 Jan to 6 Feb. This was their 3rd offence, the MSE said.
KTV lounge served alcohol past 10.30pm
Tian Ya Hai Jiao, a KTV lounge in Kampong Glam, had changed its operations to F&B to stay afloat.
However, the outlet in Aliwal Street infringed the rules for serving alcohol to customers after 10.30pm.
Customers were seen with alcohol on their tables at 12.35am.
Thus, it was told to shut down for 10 days from 23 Jan to 1 Feb.
6 F&B establishments fined
Apart from the 4 abovementioned outlets that were told to close, 6 other F&B establishments were fined.
Some of the offences they had committed were seating diners too closely (less than 1m apart), accepting bookings for group of more than 8 and seating a group of more 8 in the same table.
4 of the outlets were fined $1,000:
1. Dong Bei Ren Jia, 22 Upper Cross Street
2. Spring Court Restaurant, 52/56 Upper Cross Street
3. Lao Si Chuan Dou Hua Zhuang, 46 Temple Street
4. The Temple Restaurant, 25 Trengganu Street
At The Temple, 9 people were also fined $300 each for seating in a group of more than 8.
2 other establishments were fined $2,000, as they were repeat offenders:
- Mei Heong Yuen Dessert, 76 Temple Street
- The Hot Pot Gathering, 32 Upper Cross Street
2 F&B operators will be charged in court on 2 Feb
Apart from the 10 F&B outlets that were fined or told to close, 2 others will face a much more severe punishment – they’ll be charged in court.
According to the MSE, charges have been filed against the 2 F&B operators for multiple breaches of the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.
They will be heard in court on 2 Feb, together with a 3rd operator that had charges filed against it last month.
Circular Road outlet stayed open when told to close
One of them, Mark Enterprise Pte Ltd, operates a business called Try Again, at 17 Circular Road.
They had committed multiple breaches of SMMs and was told to close for 10 days from 18-27 Jul.
As the dates are inclusive, that means the establishment was supposed to be closed on 18 Jul.
However, the eatery was allegedly found to be open for business on that day.
Looks like they may have taken the name of their establishment to heart, and decided to “try again” to open.
Joo Chiat restaurant allowed karaoke activities
The 2nd operator that will be charged is Kim’s Place Seafood Restaurant Pte Ltd, which operates a restaurant called Kim’s Place Seafood at 45 Joo Chiat Place.
According to the MSE, Kim’s Place Seafood allegedly allowed a family of more than 5 people to dine in, split across 3 tables.
That was on 12 Sep – during Phase 2, when gatherings of more than 5 weren’t allowed.
It also allegedly allowed karaoke to be sung in its restaurant on 7 Sep and 12 Sep.
Subsequently, the operator was issued 2 orders to shut down. The closure period spanned 30 days from 6 Jan to 4 Feb.
Company gathering of 26 allegedly held at Kim’s Place Seafood
Further to that, a company gathering of 26 was allegedly held at Kim’s Place Seafood on 7 Sep.
It was allegedly organised by Singapore Straits Wine Company.
Charges have also been filed against Singapore Straits Wine Company Pte Ltd.
The 26 people, who were all staff members, were also fined $300 each.
Remain vigilant over CNY period
As the Chinese New Year (CNY) approaches, the authorities are becoming increasingly wary that festive gatherings will lead to more community cases.
The MSE noted that some large Covid-19 clusters were formed due to CNY gatherings last year.
Last week’s increase in community cases were also likely attributed to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Thus, MSE warned the public to remain vigilant over the CNY period and observe SMMs, even as we celebrate with family and friends.
Hope next CNY will be better
While the restrictive measures may be inconvenient when people just want to let loose and celebrate, they exist for a reason.
If you’re dining out at F&B establishments, do bear the rules in mind to avoid a $300 fine negating all the ang paos you receive.
Let’s hope when next year’s CNY comes around, the revelry will be allowed again.
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Featured images adapted from MSE.