Club Peaches Shut Down For 20 Days Due To 2nd Safe Distancing Breach
By now, we know that when we dine out, safe distancing is necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
That’s why most of our nightclubs haven’t reopened, at least not in the same form.
However, one club in Orchard apparently didn’t fully understand the rationale behind safe distancing, as it engaged hostesses who mingled with patrons across multiple tables.
Photo posted in Jan 2020.
For that, they’ve been told to shut down for 20 days.
As a result of the ongoing crackdown against errant food and beverage (F&B) operators, 2 have been found guilty after being charged in court, and fined a total of $18,000.
Inspections of F&B outlets stepped up over CNY
In a press release on Friday (5 Mar), the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said inspections on F&B businesses were stepped up over the recent Chinese New Year (CNY) period.
As a result, 2 F&B outlets were ordered to shut down.
One of them is Club Peaches, at the Concorde Shopping Mall (100 Orchard Road).
Club engaged hostesses
Officers from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) visited Club Peaches on 26 Feb, which was the 15th and last day of CNY.
They found that the club had engaged hostesses to entertain patrons.
These hostesses intermingled between separate groups of patrons, who were seated across multiple tables.
As patrons seated across different tables aren’t allowed to mingle with one another, it’s obvious that a hostess moving from one table to another also isn’t allowed.
That’s because if just 1 person is infected with Covid-19, the possibility of unrelated patrons being infected will be higher.
It’s the club’s 2nd offence
For breaking the rules, Club Peaches was ordered to close for 20 days, from 27 Feb to 18 Mar.
The reason for the longer period of closure is that this is the club’s 2nd offence.
The 1st time round, it was fined $1,000 in Dec. At that time, the detailed offence wasn’t divulged by MSE, but now the ministry has revealed that it took place on 18 Dec.
The club had allowed more than 5 people to sit together although we were still in Phase 2.
They also provided games to patrons, though they weren’t allowed to as they’re not also an amusement centre.
Seafood restaurant also shut down
Besides Club Peaches, the other F&B outlet ordered to shut down was a seafood restaurant named Tasty Loong.
The branch involved is located in Link Hotel, at 50 Tiong Bahru Road.
According to its Facebook page, it’s opened by award winning celebrity chef Pung Lu Tin.
Restaurant allowed customers to toast
As you might know, some guidelines were issued for Singaporeans to follow during CNY. One of which was that “emphatic uttering” is banned under the law.
In other words, we’re not allowed to holler things like “Huat ah! Lo ah!” during lohei or any other time.
However, when STB officers visited Tasty Loong on 20 Feb – the 9th day of CNY – they found diners doing just that.
Specifically, MSE said they were verbalising auspicious sayings, followed by toasting.
The restaurant also failed to ensure that physical interactions between customers and staff were kept to a minimum.
Thus, STB told them to close for 10 days, from 25 Feb to 6 Mar.
2 F&B operators fined $18,000
Separately, 2 F&B operators were charged in court recently for flouting the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.
They’ve since been found guilty and given hefty fines.
Invincible (BBCM), which operates Invincible Noodle House (also known at Bedok Bak Chor Mee), were subjected to the bulk of the fine.
It was fined a whopping $14,000 at failed to ensure safe distancing between patrons.
The eatery also allowed patrons to consume alcohol after 10.30pm – specifically, they were seen drinking at 11.40pm.
In Oct, it was previously ordered to close for 10 days.
The 2nd operator is Mark Enterprise, which operates Try Again bistro, also at Circular Road.
They had committed multiple breaches of SMMs and was told to close for 10 days from 18-27 Jul. However, it was allegedly found to be open for business on 18 Jul.
Thus, it was fined $4,000 for continuing business despite being ordered to shut down.
3 other F&B outlets fined $1,000 each
3 other F&B outlets were also punished for offences including seating diner groups less than 1m apart, and failing to check their temperatures.
- RedDot Brewhouse (Block 25A, Dempsey Road)
- Rocky Maste (402 Orchard Road, #01-02/03)
- Wine Trade (41 Cuppage Road)
For breaking the rules, they were each fined $1,000.
31 people fined at parks & beaches
Besides F&B outlets, there were also people who didn’t behave at parks and beaches.
Officers conducted checks on parks and beaches managed by the National Parks Board (NParks) last Sunday (28 Feb).
They found 31 people breaching safe distancing rules, including gathering in groups of more than 8.
These individuals were fined $300 each.
They included 12 people who gathered at Esplanade Park.
MSE slams those who’re irresponsible
MSE has slammed “irresponsible” F&B premises and individuals who broke the safe distancing rules from 22 Jan-28 Feb.
During this period, 19 F&B outlets were ordered to shut down, and 36 others were fined.
572 individuals were also fined.
Though CNY is now over, the ministry urged F&B operators and the public to remain vigilant and continue to observe the rules.
Photo for illustration purposes only.
If you don’t bother, well, the authorities will continue to conduct checks at crowded public places.
For those who’re caught, “firm enforcement action” will be taken, MSE said.
Hope the number of offenders drops
Now that CNY is over, there’ll ostensibly be fewer cases of people gathering for celebrations.
Let’s hope that means there’ll also be fewer cases of F&B outlets and patrons flouting the rules.
While the restrictive measures may be inconvenient when people just want to let loose and celebrate, they exist because Covid-19 hasn’t been totally wiped out in Singapore yet.
We look forward to next year’s CNY, when the situation gets better and revelry may be allowed again.
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