COVID-19: Man who breached stay-home notice to eat bak kut teh warned

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SINGAPORE — A man who breached the conditions of his stay-home notice (SHN) to eat bak kut teh has been given a warning by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

In a statement on Wednesday (25 March), an ICA spokesperson said the agency was aware of a Facebook post reporting the alleged breach of an SHN. “The ICA has investigated the matter and has ascertained the identity of the person under SHN and the nature of the breach in this case.”

ICA added that it is clearly stated in the SHN that the SHN period starts on the day of one’s return to Singapore. “Persons issued with an SHN are required to acknowledge the SHN, including the requirements set out within, and the SHN is operative with immediate effect.”

The spokesperson added, “The individual concerned has been warned not to breach the conditions of the SHN again. If he does, ICA will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action against him.”

The incident was referenced by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam in Parliament on Wednesday, when he referred to a circulating Facebook post about a man who allegedly left his house to eat bak kut teh, despite having just returned from Myanmar.

The post also detailed the man’s exchange with his friends, who advised him to comply with the SHN. The man claimed that he thought the SHN period started the next day.

Shanmugam urged members of the public to inform the police if they know of anyone in breach an SHN.

Under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act, those who breach the SHN will face a fine of up to $10,000, or up to six months’ imprisonment, or both. If the individual concerned is a Singapore permanent resident, Long-Term Visit Pass holder, Dependant’s Pass holder or Student’s Pass holder, the validity of their pass may be shortened, or their pass revoked.

Foreign employees may have their Work Pass revoked, while short-term visitors may see their visit pass cancelled and they may be barred from re-entering Singapore. 

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