Singapore

10 Robertson Quay restaurants barred from selling alcohol takeaways

This article is more than 12 months old

Ten restaurants at Robertson Quay have been barred from selling alcohol for takeaway, after people were found socialising and flouting safe distancing measures at the riverside dining enclave.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) told The Straits Times yesterday that these restaurants had been selling takeaway alcohol to patrons, "which had contributed to more individuals gathering around these premises".

"To prevent such gatherings from taking place, we have issued a written direction to these restaurants to cease the sale of takeaway alcohol with immediate effect," said a URA spokesman. "Any contravention of such directions is an offence and we will not hesitate to take such parties to task."

While alcohol takeaways are barred, customers can still have alcohol delivered to their homes.

The directive came a day after a Facebook post showing several photos of people failing to stay least 1m from one another in the waterfront neighbourhood went viral, having been shared more than 1,700 times since Saturday evening.

Most of the people pictured were not wearing masks, while some had their masks lowered as they spoke to one another.

The photos, taken by a recruitment manager in her 40s who wanted to be known only as Ms Tan, were later shared on Facebook by a friend who goes by the handle Lectress Pat.

Ms Tan, who was exercising in the area, told ST she took the photos at around 6.30pm on Saturday, after catching sight of the "alarming" crowds near the stretch of restaurants from Robertson Bridge to Alkaff Bridge.

People were sitting on the steps drinking and smoking, she said, and restaurants were selling beer in takeaway cups.

"I didn't expect it to be so crowded, with no awareness of social distancing," she added.

Netizens, noting that the chic riverside area tends to draw an expat crowd, have been quick to suggest there might be "double standards" at play.

The URA urged people to comply with safe distancing measures and minimise trips out of their homes, as well as wear masks properly before and after strenuous exercise.

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