Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned on Facebook earlier today (9 April) that any group gatherings in public will immediately be issued a written warning by enforcement officers, adding that there were still many public gatherings spotted on the third day of the “circuit breaker” measures.
Mr Lee posted on Facebook earlier today (9 April), noting that the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing sharply and urged everyone to comply with the measures.
“If your loved ones do not understand how serious this is, please try hard to help them understand,” he noted.
He added, “The more we take liberties with the Stay Home measures, the longer these painful measures will have to last. I know we all want to go back to normalcy, but this can only happen if we take things seriously.”
Mr Lee’s statement came after the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli posted on Facebook earlier on 8 April that 3,000 written advisories were issued on the second day of the “circuit breaker”.
More advisories were issued when the “circuit breaker” measures first took effect on 7 April, with more than 7,000 advisories being issued as of 8pm, according to Mr Masagos.
Although there were fewer advisories on the second day, Mr Masagos noted that it was only because the groups dispersed when advised. He implored members of the public to comply with the elevated safe distancing measures and warned those who found breaching them will be issued written warnings immediately.
“From tomorrow if Enforcement Officers come across persons gathered in public, they will issue them written warnings immediately, BEFORE dispersing them,” he remarked.
Following that, Mr Masagos on Facebook earlier today (9 April) noting that the Government is “stepping up on enforcement” and anyone found breaching the elevated safe distancing measures will immediately be issued a written warning, while those who repeatedly flout the measures will be fined or charged in court.
According to Mr Masagos, first-time offenders will be issued a stern written warning. Individuals who commit a second offence will be fined S$300, while a third offence will lead to the person being charged in court.
He implored members of the public to stay at home and protect the elderly who are the most vulnerable, adding “young or old – none of us are immune”.
LTA implements additional safe distancing measures on public transport networks
In light of the Government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Thursday (9 April) that it will implement additional safe distancing measures on public transport networks to heighten social distancing among commuters.
LTA in its statement noted that safe distancing stickers will be progressively rolled out on all trains, train stations, buses, bus stops, and bus interchanges to mark out spaces and seats that should be avoided by commuters.
Transport Ambassadors will be arranged to work with LTA enforcement officers and bus captains to ensure commuters comply with the measures.
In addition, temperature screening will also be implemented at selected MRT stations in which commuters will have to go through before entering the stations.
‘Circuit breaker’ measures may be extended if the COVID-19 situation does not improve
Earlier on 3 April, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his televised address on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore announced that the multi-ministry taskforce on COVID-19 has imposed “significantly stricter measures” to curb the local transmission of the virus.
The enhanced measures, Mr Lee said, will act as a “circuit-breaker” in terms of slowing down or stopping the local transmission of COVID-19.
But just a month ago, Mr Lee was the one who suggested to Singaporeans that it is a good time to visit (or re-visit) Singapore’s local attractions.
“If you’re worried about travel restrictions, consider a staycation at a local hotel. Above all, let us go about our lives as normally as possible.” wrote Mr Lee on his Facebook page.