COVID: Over 400 nightlife venues that pivoted into F&B suspended

(PHOTO: Club De Zara 东门俱乐部/Facebook)
Club De Zara is one of nine KTV lounges, as of 15 July, 2021, ordered to close for two weeks due to the 'likely ongoing transmission' of COVID-19 at their premises. (PHOTO: Club De Zara 东门俱乐部/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — More than 400 nightlife establishments that have pivoted into food and beverage (F&B) outlets will be suspended for two weeks from Friday (16 July) amid a rise in locally transmitted COVID-19 cases linked to KTV lounges/clubs that were operating as F&B outlets.

The establishments will be individually notified about the suspension and all staff will be tested for the virus, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement.

The authorities will also inspect safe management protocols at these venues before allowing them to resume their F&B operations after 30 July.

Nightlife establishments have not been allowed to operate since October last year, but they have been allowed to pivot into F&B operations.

"Regrettably, several errant establishments have abused the system by operating clandestine and illegal activities," said the MOH.

Three such F&B establishments have since had their licenses to serve food revoked by the Singapore Food Agency, the ministry noted.

About the KTV lounges/clubs cluster

On Friday, MOH announced another 32 cases linked to the KTV lounges/clubs cluster, bringing the tally to 120 cases and making it both the biggest active cluster here and the largest recorded cluster in the community.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung told reporters on Wednesday the police will take action against lounges and hostesses who might have contravened COVID-19 rules.

"While this is disappointing, we are not entirely surprised that clusters like these will pop up. Over the past weeks, we saw the Changi cluster, Bukit Merah cluster, and now the KTV cluster," he said.

"This is the nature of the Delta variant. It’s a lot more transmissible and so long as there are embers in the community, it is likely to pop up and infect many more people," he added.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday first said that it was investigating cases of COVID-19 infection among Vietnamese social hostesses who had frequented KTV lounges or clubs currently operating as F&B outlets, and their close social contacts.

The ministry named three such establishments on Monday: Supreme KTV at Far East Shopping Centre, Empress KTV at Tanglin Shopping Centre and Club Dolce at Balestier Point.

On Tuesday, it identified two more such establishments: WU Bistro at Golden Mile Complex and Club De Zara at Textile Centre.

Then on Wednesday, another four more venues were named: One Exclusive at 114 Middle Road, Level 9 (L9) at 114 Middle Road, Terminal 10 at Clarke Quay and Club M at 114 Middle Road.

And on Thursday, another two similar venues were identified: Tuberose KTV and Las Vegas KTV at Park Lane Shopping Mall at 35 Selegie Road.

Of these, nine have been ordered to close for two weeks: Club Dolce, WU Bistro, Club De Zara, One Exclusive, Level 9 (L9), Terminal 10, Club M, Tuberose KTV and Las Vegas KTV.

MOH said it is extending free COVID-19 testing to patrons of these outlets or other similar KTV lounges or clubs, or those who have interacted with social hostesses of any nationality in any setting from 29 June.

They can refer to for details on the testing operations.

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