30 Premises and 30 Individuals Penalised for Breaching Safe Management Measures; Enhanced Measures for Nightlife Operators which have Pivoted to F&B Industry
14 May 2021 – In the first week of tightened measures to curb the community transmission of COVID-19, government agencies have continued with stepped-up enforcement checks on food and beverage (F&B) premises and other public spaces. Ten F&B premises have been ordered to close, of which six are former nightlife establishments which have pivoted to the F&B industry. Another 20 F&B outlets have been issued composition fines for breaching Safe Management Measures (SMMs). A total of 30 individuals have also been issued fines for breaching SMMs in parks and beaches.
2 As egregious breaches of SMMs have been committed in recent months at former nightlife establishments which have pivoted to the F&B industry, agencies have enhanced administrative and enforcement measures for such establishments. These measures are intended to ensure that the operators run F&B businesses which comply with SMMs. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will continue to make available grants to support nightlife operators wishing to pivot to F&B operations or to exit from the industry up till 30 September 2021.
Enhanced measures for pivoted nightlife establishments to ensure SMM compliance
3 Pubs, bars, nightclubs, discotheques and karaoke lounges (collectively known as “nightlife establishments”) have not been allowed to operate in their original form since March 2020, as the nature of their activities pose a significantly higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. To support nightlife establishments amidst this prolonged closure, a process was put in place since October 2020 to allow operators to temporarily pivot to F&B businesses. To date, 406 nightlife operators have received the Singapore Food Agency’s (SFA) foodshop or snack counter licence and temporarily pivoted to F&B operations. Many of these establishments have successfully pivoted towards F&B operations in accordance with the requirements.
4 However, despite only being allowed to conduct F&B operations, some establishments continue to operate usual nightlife activities which are currently prohibited, and have flagrantly flouted SMMs in the process. These SMM breaches include failing to prevent large groups of patrons from intermingling, employing hostesses, and allowing live entertainment (e.g. live singing and dancing, playing of musical instruments) and games (e.g. dice and billiards). The vast majority of repeated egregious breaches have been committed by recently pivoted nightlife establishments (see Annex B). Examples of egregious breaches can be found in Annex C.
5 As SMM breaches committed by this group of establishments are flagrant and carry much higher public health risks, agencies will adopt enhanced measures to take effective action against egregious breaches committed by non-compliant pivoted establishments, as follows:
a) With effect from this month, SFA will start to revoke the food licences of non-compliant ex-nightlife operators in the F&B industry which are found to commit egregious breaches of SMMs. Establishments which lose their food license must cease operations with immediate effect until the nightlife sector is allowed to reopen in future, or until their re-application for a new food licence is approved.
b) With immediate effect, nightlife operators intending to operate F&B establishments must file a Change of Use application with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), to obtain planning permission to convert the premises into an F&B establishment. Applicants will be required to submit proposed business concept/operational details (e.g. food and drinks menu) and a layout plan showing the usage of the proposed F&B establishment premises (e.g. including dining spaces and kitchen), as well as plans to remove any bar-related signages or paraphernalia, for URA’s assessment. SFA will only proceed to process the foodshop licence application upon URA’s approval for the premises to be converted.
While URA had earlier provided endorsements to facilitate nightlife operators to temporarily pivot to F&B operations, these operators must now apply for Change of Use by the end of the one-year validity of these endorsements, should they intend to continue to operate an F&B business. Nightlife establishments may continue to apply for a grant of up to $50,000 from Enterprise Singapore (ESG) to defray qualifying costs incurred during the COU process. This support is available up to 30 September 2021. Operators may reach out to the Singapore Nightlife Business Association at email@example.com for more information.
c) Agencies will also take other enforcement measures on operators within their regulatory ambit. This includes the revoking of the Public Entertainment Licence or Liquor Licence. Under such circumstances, operators will not possess a valid licence to reopen, provide public entertainment, and/or sell liquor even when there is a class resumption of the nightlife sector.
6 SMMs must be strictly adhered to by premises owners and individuals; otherwise we could well face a resurgence of community transmission which will disrupt our lives and livelihoods. We have seen how nightlife activities in other countries have led to super spreader events. We must all do our part to prevent this from occurring in Singapore. The resurgent waves of widespread infection in overseas countries are sobering reminders of the potentially devastating threat posed by the pandemic. We must continue to be vigilant to keep Singapore safe. We seek everyone’s cooperation to remain socially responsible and unwavering in our fight against COVID-19.
Ten premises ordered to close
7 Details of the offences committed at premises that were ordered to close are as follows:
a) Club Illusion (3A River Valley Road, #03-01), a nightlife operator which pivoted to F&B operations, allowed intermingling between groups of customers and gatherings of more than eight persons on 23 April 2021. URA has ordered the establishment to close for 10 days from 6 to 15 May 2021 (both dates inclusive).
b) English Football Museum (3D River Valley Road, #02-02), a nightlife operator which pivoted to F&B operations, allowed intermingling between groups of customers and gatherings of more than eight persons on 23 April 2021. URA has ordered the operator to close for 10 days from 8 to 17 May 2021 (both dates inclusive).
c) The Malayan Council (71 Bussorah St) failed to ensure at least 1 metre safe distancing between seated customers on 2 May 2021. This is its third offence. URA has ordered the operator to close for 10 days from 8 to 17 May 2021 (both dates inclusive).
d) Haru (3 Magazine Rd #01-01 Central Mall), a nightlife operator which pivoted to F&B operations, allowed gatherings of more than eight persons on 7 May 2021. URA has ordered the operator to close for 10 days from 9 to 18 May 2021 (both dates inclusive).
e) Jag’s @ Siglap (922 East Coast Rd) served alcohol to customers after 10.30pm on 7 May 2021. URA has ordered the establishment to close for 10 days from 13 to 22 May 2021 (both dates inclusive).
f) Destiny Japanese KTV (5 Koek Road, #04-20/22, Cuppage Plaza), a nightlife operator which pivoted to F&B operations, had failed to minimise interaction between staff and customers on 7 May 2021. As the establishment is a repeat offender, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has issued an order requiring the operator to close for 30 days from 8 May 2021 to 6 June 2021 (both dates inclusive).
g) Siem Reap Indochine (44 Lor Mambong) allowed gatherings of more than five persons on 8 May 2021. URA has ordered the establishment to close for 10 days from 13 to 22 May (both dates inclusive).
h) One 4 D’Road Bar (545 Orchard Road, #02-21, Far East Shopping Centre), a nightlife operator which pivoted to F&B operations, had allowed entry to freelance hostesses that were not employees of the bar, failed to minimise interaction between these hostesses and customers, and screened music videos to customers on 8 May 2021. STB has ordered the establishment to close for 10 days from 9 May 2021 to 18 May 2021 (both dates inclusive).
i) MZS Family Karaoke (21 Cuscaden Road, #B1-01/02, Ming Arcade), a nightlife operator which pivoted to F&B operations, had allowed customers to consume alcohol after 10.30pm on 8 May 2021. As the establishment is a repeat offender, STB has ordered the establishment to close for 20 days from 9 May to 28 May 2021 (both dates inclusive).
j) New Udon Thai Food (5001 Beach Road #01-66B, Golden Mile Complex) had failed to ensure 1-metre safe distancing between different groups of diners on 9 April 2021. This is its third offence. Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has ordered the establishment to close for 10 days from 7 May to 16 May 2021 (both dates inclusive).
Fines issued to 20 outlets
8 A total of 17 F&B outlets were fined $1,000 each for breaching SMMs. Breaches included seating groups of customers less than 1 metre apart, not ensuring queueing customers were more than 1 metre apart, playing videos for customers, and providing dice games. Three outlets were fined $2,000 each for repeated offences of seating groups of customers less than 1 metre apart, playing videos for customers, providing dice games and poker cards, and providing self-service buffet (see Annex A).
Enforcement against individuals for SMM breaches at parks and beaches
9 A total of 30 individuals were fined for breaching SMMs on 8 and 9 May 2021 in parks and beaches managed by the National Parks Board (NParks). These breaches include gathering in groups of more than five.
10 In line with the tightened SMMs to reduce the level of interactions in the community, all water play areas and water recreational facilities in NParks-managed parks and gardens will be closed from 8 to 30 May. In addition, NParks will temporarily close access to some parks, and sections of beaches and facilities, such as shelters and car parks, when these areas get too crowded, to ensure that safe distancing can be observed. These areas will be reopened when they are less crowded.
11 Before heading down to parks, please check the Safe Distance @ Parks portal (safedistparks.nparks.gov.sg) for the latest updates on visitorship levels. We request all park visitors to be socially responsible and to keep our green spaces safe for everyone. Visitors should observe SMMs such as wearing a mask except when engaging in strenuous exercises or consuming food, drink or medication, as well as keeping to groups of up to five people. The public can refer to the NParks website for the latest advisories for gardens, parks and nature reserves in response to the COVID-19 situation.
Investigations ongoing for abuse against safe distancing personnel at Lau Pa Sat
12 On 8 May 2021, Safe Distancing Enforcement Officers (SDEOs) and a Safe Distancing Ambassador (SDA) from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) spotted a group of six diners sitting across two tables of three after entering Lau Pa Sat. Social gatherings are currently limited to a group size of up to five persons, and the group did not comply with this measure. When advised of the measure, two men from the group used abusive language against the officers. The Police were called in for assistance and the case is currently under investigation.
13 The Government takes a serious view of abuse of safe distancing personnel and will not hesitate to take firm action against those who do so. SDEOs and SDAs have been working hard to keep our community safe. They are performing an important duty. We urge members of the public to continue to cooperate with them and comply with the instructions of personnel deployed for COVID-19-related duties.
MINISTRY OF SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
14 MAY 2021
F&B Outlets Fined for Breaches of Safe Management Measures
1) Beau (25 Haji Lane)
2) Blu Kouzina (10 Dempsey Road #01-20)
3) Blueberry Hill Pub & Café (20 Jalan Leban, Sembawang Hills Estate)
4) Bukit Batok 105 Food House (150 Bukit Batok Street 11 #01-246)
5) Central Perk Café (1 Magazine Road #01-01 Central Mall) (second offence)
6) Dempsey Project (9 Dempsey Road #01-12)
7) Derwish Turkish (32 Bussorah Street)
8) Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee (430 Upper Changi Road #01-08/09)
9) Great Eater (155 Bukit Batok Street 11 #01-324)
10) Jumbo (11 Dempsey Road #01-16)
11) La Forketta (9 Dempsey Road #01-09)
12) Lepak @ Rayz (62 Bussorah Street)
13) NY Night Market (313 Orchard Road, #01-29, 313@Somerset)
14) Padi Bussorah (53 Bussorah Street)
15) Piedra Negra (23 Arab Street)
16) Steamov (367/369 Beach Road) (second offence)
17) The Malayan Council (10 Winstedt Road) (second offence)
18) Titanium Pub (19 Tanglin Road, #B1-04, Tanglin Shopping Centre)
19) Two Men Bagel House (17D Lor Liput, Holland Village)
20) Wine Company (8 Dempsey Hill)
F&B outlets caught at least twice for egregious SMM breaches (since October 2020)
1) MZS Family Karaoke, 21 Cuscaden Road, #B3-00, Ming Arcade
2) Club Peaches, 100 Orchard Road, #1-100, Concorde Shopping Mall
3) Club One Min, 100 Orchard Road, #2-100, Concorde Shopping Mall
4) Club Mao by Barcode, 291 New Bridge Rd, #03-04, Oriental Plaza
5) The Drinks Emporium, 83 Club Street
6) Hooha Restaurant & Café, 3 South Buona Vista Road, #B1-06/#B1-11/#B1-50, Viva Vista
7) Cheers Up, 2 Havelock Road, #02-09, Havelock 2
8) Alive @Sg Pub, 304 Orchard Road, #03-17/18, Lucky Plaza
9) Destiny Japanese KTV, 5 Koek Road, #04-20/22, Cuppage Plaza
10) Tangmen Restaurant, 150 Orchard Road #01-35, Orchard Plaza
Examples of Ex-Nightlife Operators in F&B Industry caught for egregious SMM breaches
1) Club Peaches in Concorde Shopping Mall, 100 Orchard Road, was found to have engaged hostesses who intermingled with different groups of patrons across multiple tables on 2 May 2021. The outlet was closed for 30 days as this was its third offence. Club Peaches was previously caught on 26 February 2021 for engaging hostesses, and on 18 December 2020 for accepting a large group booking and providing dice games to customers.
2) Darts Buddy at 28 Beatty Road was caught operating behind closed doors, and for serving alcohol after 10.30pm on 29 January 2021. The outlet was closed for 10 days.
3) MZS Family Karaoke at Ming Arcade, 21 Cuscaden Road, was caught for allowing customers to consume alcohol after 10:30pm on 8 May 2021. The outlet was closed for 20 days. MZS Family Karaoke was previously caught on 25 Dec 2020 for allowing a group of 51 people, and for serving alcohol after 10.30pm.