SINGAPORE — Twenty-three food and beverages (F&B) outlets were found to have breached COVID-19 safe management measures, after government agencies conducted additional patrols of nightspots over the past weekend.
In a media release on Tuesday (15 September), the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said that a total of 149 outlets in known hotspots were inspected on Saturday and Sunday.
Most of the breaches involved groups of more than five seated together or intermingling between tables, and the serving and consumption of alcohol past 10.30pm.
One Orchard Road F&B outlet was even found to have serve alcoholic drinks from metal teapots after 11pm to 13 patrons.
The agencies are reviewing the breaches and the appropriate enforcement actions will be taken, including temporary closure of the outlets and the issuance of fines.
Examples of breaches committed
MSE listed several examples of the breaches committed:
An F&B outlet at Chinatown accepted a booking of 10 patrons and seated the group in two tables within a private dining room. When asked, outlet staff claimed that the diners at the two tables did not know one another.
An F&B outlet at Orchard Road was found to serve alcoholic drinks from metal teapots after 11pm to 13 patrons. Investigations revealed that the teapots contained beer, and the bottles of beer sold by the restaurant were concealed at the bottom of the fridge storing drinks.
Enforcement officers visited an F&B outlet at Orchard Road around midnight and heard loud conversations from premises that had been locked. They gained entry to the outlet after issuing verbal warnings to the operator to open the door, and found six patrons seated separately within the premises with no sign of drinks on their table. However, CCTV footage showed that these patrons had been drinking just before the officers arrived, and had cleared the glasses and hid the alcohol bottle just before opening the door.
At an F&B outlet at Boat Quay area, a group of 15 patrons were seated across four tables for a pre-planned dinner event and were intermingling.
An F&B outlet at Jurong East was found to have allowed eight customers to sit together at a long table within the premises.
Stepped-up enforcement checks
MSE said that these stepped-up enforcement checks come on top of the routine inspections that agencies undertake daily at F&B outlets, which include coffee shops and hawker centres throughout Singapore. In total, more than 3,000 inspections of F&B outlets were conducted over the weekend.
Last week, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce had announced that the government would step up enforcement checks at F&B outlets around Singapore to ensure that they remain safe spaces for all during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a post put up on her Facebook page on Tuesday, Minster for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu urged F&B operators and patrons to observe measures for the community’s collective safety.
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