Many flout stricter measures on first day of 'circuit-breaker' month
More than 7,000 written advisories were issued yesterday to members of the public who breached the stricter safe distancing measures that kicked in yesterday.
Most of the breaches occurred at hawker centres and markets, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) said in a statement last night.
More than 2,000 officers from various government agencies were deployed across the island during the day to help ease Singaporeans and businesses into the new normal.
They visited places such as town centres, hawker centres, parks and community centres to ensure the observation of safe distancing measures in the heartland, the ministry said.
The tighter rules include a ban on dining in at all food establishments and the suspension of non-essential services.
Advisories were given to people at crowded markets to remind them to keep a safe distance when queueing or making payment by following the floor markings, MEWR said.
An advisory was also issued to a stallholder for selling drinks intended for those eating at a hawker centre.
The ministry said that failing to comply with the elevated safe distancing measures that lasts until May 4 is an offence. Those found to be in breach will be issued a written advisory, and if they do not comply, enforcement officers will take down their particulars and issue them a stern warning. The police may also be contacted for follow-up action, it said.
Under the Covid-19 Temporary Measures Bill passed in Parliament yesterday, first-time offenders may face a fine of up to $10,000, jail of up to six months, or both. Subsequent offences carry a fine of up to $20,000, jail of up to 12 months, or both.
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in a Facebook post last night that the large number of advisories issued is "very unfortunate and disappointing".
"From tomorrow we will not hesitate to issue written stern warnings, which will lead to a fine, to those who still continue to gather in public," he wrote. "Those not out for essentials or for work in the essential services sector will face penalties."