COVID-19: Gemma Steakhouse suspended for 20 days after holding Halloween dinner for 75 people

(PHOTO: Gemma Steakhouse/Facebook)
(PHOTO: Gemma Steakhouse/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — Gemma Steakhouse at National Gallery has been suspended for 20 days until 22 December over potential breaches of safe management measures (SMMs), the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said on Friday (4 December).

Investigations by the Singapore Food Agency found that the restaurant had worked with a private members’ club to organise a Halloween-themed dinner, which was attended by 75 diners.

“Although the diners were seated at tables of up to five, CCTV footage showed that they intermingled on multiple occasions, and did not wear their masks even when they were not eating/drinking,” the MSE said.

The footage shows that restaurant staff did not take steps to prevent the intermingling on their premises.

Under the current COVID-19 safe distancing regulations, social gatherings of groups of more than five outside an individual’s residence are prohibited. Food & beverage outlets are not allowed to accept bookings from groups of larger than five, even if such groups are split across multiple tables. Groups are prohibited from intermingling.

Investigations are continuing over possible breaches by various parties.

The government views such breaches seriously, the MSE said, adding that dining out entails considerable risks as it involves gathering in enclosed spaces without masks on and for a prolonged duration.

“While the majority have been adhering to the measures, it is regrettable that there remains a minority which continue to breach SMMs. We will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action against operators and individuals who treat SMMs with flagrant disregard,” said the MSE.

In a post on its Facebook page, Gemma said on Friday it respects the decision of the authorities. It also apologised to its supporters and guests, especially for those whose reservations have been affected.

“Please be assured that we will continue to move forward by taking the next weeks to elevate our safe management measures,” Gemma added.

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