Wedding venue and organiser fined over event with 235 people
Wedding venue Orange Ballroom and a wedding organiser were on Monday (Dec 20) fined for hosting a wedding with 235 people in attendance when only 100 were allowed.
Orange Ballroom was fined $8,000 while Osman Arrifin, 60, was fined $6,000.
This is the first such prosecution in relation to Covid-19 breaches of safe management measures for marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions.
Osman, a business development consultant and manager at Orange Ballroom, pleaded guilty to two charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.
He doubled as the representative for Orange Ballroom and pleaded guilty to a single charge under the same act.
Osman has been working at the Orange Ballroom since 2017 and oversaw its day-to-day operations.
The court heard that the wedding held on Jan 30 this year was split into three receptions at the Orange Ballroom on the third floor of Tanjong Katong Complex in Geylang.
Osman had allowed 235 guests to attend the wedding, more than double the maximum permissible group size of 100 guests at the time.
He also allowed 18 guests to attend more than one wedding reception that day.
He was responsible for ensuring that wedding guests attended the event only at an allocated time slot.
The company was found guilty of permitting 235 guests to attend three receptions - with 62, 73 and 60 guests at each reception - when the cap was 50 people per reception.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim said there were multiple complaints made against Orange Ballroom even before the wedding on Jan 30.
The complaints included the venue allowing 300 people for events, guests not maintaining safe distancing and not checking in with SafeEntry before entering the venue.
"Despite having been warned and cautioned by Safe Distancing Ambassadors on numerous occasions previously, Orange Ballroom persisted to commit the present offence," said DPP Lim.
While the company did engage a ballroom captain to enforce safe management measures during the wedding, the prosecutor said Osman had not given the captain any instructions.
In mitigation, Osman said the company was badly hit due to Covid-19 restrictions.
He added that he was not present at the wedding on Jan 30 and could have put the blame on the captain on duty but did not as he was "a man of integrity".
District Judge Toh Han Li said in response that the key issue was the risk of exposing a large number of people to the virus.
Those who fail to comply with safe management measures can be jailed for up to six months and jailed up to $10,000 for the first offence. The punishment can be doubled for subsequent offences.