COVID-19: 10 businesses ordered to stop after providing non-essential services

SINGAPORE - APRIL 07:  A man wearing protective mask walks along a closed shops in Chinatown on April 7, 2020 in Singapore. Singapore government starts closing non-essential workplaces and schools temporarily for a month from today, April 7 to contain the spread of the COVID-19 infections.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Closed shops in Chinatown in Singapore. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Ten businesses were ordered to cease operations for continuing to provide non-essential services during the enhanced safe distancing period to curb the spread of COVID-19.

According to a joint media release by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Wednesday (8 April), these businesses include traditional Chinese medicine retail establishments, wellness and beauty product shops, money changers, mobile phone retail shops, consumer electronics retailers, kitchenware, and stationery shops.

Verbal warnings were issued, and if these businesses continue to flout the rules, ESG and STB will impose fines and suspend their operations.

Checks on suspension of activities

Since the month-long “circuit breaker” period kicked in on Tuesday, the two authorities have been conducting enforcement checks on the suspension of activities at workplace premises and safe distancing measures.

ESG checked on over 9,750 food and beverages (F&B) and retail establishments across 67 shopping malls, while STB checked on more than 920 tourism-related establishments.

While the majority of these establishments complied with the elevated safe distancing measures, there were common infractions observed, such as a lack of queue markings and poor crowd management, especially during meal times.

Guidelines on MOH website

ESG and STB urge businesses to comply with the elevated safe distancing measures, and to refer to the sector-specific guidelines that can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act passed in Parliament on Tuesday, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to six months. Subsequent offences may face up to a $20,000 fine and/or a one-year jail term.

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