When we entered Phase 3, groups of 8 were finally allowed to gather in public.
However, this relaxation of measures seemed to have prompted some people in Singapore to think that Covid-19 is over.
That led to a total of 104 people being fined in parks and beaches.
Among the breaches committed were gathering in groups of more than 8 and intermingling between groups.
In a media release on Friday (29 Jan), the Ministry for Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said enhanced checks on Singapore’s public spaces were conducted last weekend.
From 23-24 Jan, government officers fanned out across the parks and beaches managed by the National Parks Board (NParks).
Their aim was to see whether visitors were complying with safe management measures (SMMs), which include not gathering in groups of more than 8 people.
Unfortunately, 104 people were fined for breaking the rules over the 2 days.
They were found gathering in big groups, and intermingling between groups, putting the community at risk from the spread of Covid-19.
As such, NParks will continue to step up enforcement checks at parks and beaches.
One of the areas of concern is Changi Beach Park, which is popular with visitors.
Over the last weekend alone, 27 people were found flouting SMMs at the park, the MSE said.
They had gathered in groups of more than 8 and intermingled between groups.
As a result, they were each fined $300.
Changi Beach Park was one of the places highlighted by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, in her Facebook post on 23 Jan.
She had said that 20 big groups were found gathering at 5 places the previous weekend.
The other 4 places were:
She also warned that agencies like NParks will be stepping up enforcement.
Regrettably, it seems that 104 people failed to heed her warning.
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.
While the Government has relaxed the limit on gatherings to 8, it’s a result of our good work in controlling the spread of Covid-19 so far.
What it doesn’t mean is that the virus won’t resurface, so we shouldn’t be complacent.
The restrictive measures exist for a reason, and if you’re relaxing at parks and beaches, do bear the rules in mind to avoid a $300 fine negating all the ang paos you receive.
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Featured image adapted from MSE.
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