According to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), six men and one woman will be charged in court on 2 June for breaching safe distancing measures at Robertson Quay on 16 May.
These seven individuals will be charged under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.
Earlier on 16 May, Facebook user Lectress Pat posted a series of photos showing crowds of people gathering around Robertson Quay, noting that no enforcer was seen patrolling the area when the photos were being taken at around 6.25pm.
Some individuals were spotted not wearing a face mask in the photos, while others were seen sitting near to each other without social distancing. The photos have since gone viral on social media.
Following that, URA stated on 17 May that it has ordered the restaurants at Robertson Quay to cease the sale of takeaway alcohol immediately.
In response to the incident, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli confirmed in a Facebook post on 18 May to affirm that the URA officers have been patrolling the area. He noted that a number of the individuals who gathered in the area have been traced by the police.
“These persons are non-Singaporeans, and are currently under police investigation,” he wrote.
Although Mr Masagos had stated that the police have tracked down the individuals who gathered at Robertson Quay and that they are non-Singaporeans, no clarification was given on whether these individuals have faced any punishments.
This has led many netizens to question why foreigners get “double standard” treatment by the authorities as compared to migrant workers or Singaporeans who failed to comply with the safe distancing measures.
Following URA’s announcement today, Mr Masagos wrote on his Facebook page, saying: “We take such breaches very seriously and will not hesitate to take action. My thanks to Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Singapore Police Force for pursuing the violations.”
He added that while there has been a decreasing trend in the number of community transmissions, Singapore must remain vigilant to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“When we exit the Circuit Breaker on 2 June, some restrictions will be lifted, and more of us will come into contact with one another. It will be more critical than ever to practise safe distancing. Remember, these measures are in place to protect us and our loved ones.” said Mr Masagos and reminded people to stay home as far as possible.
“Wear a mask and keep a distance of at least 1 metre from the next person when you go out. Stay safe everyone.”
Singapore DJ Jade Rasif previously noted on her Facebook page that the incident at Robertson Quay is not uncommon.
She noted in a Facebook post on 16 May,
I live in Bukit Timah, and from personal experience, in Bukit Timah / Alexandria/Robertson Quay, there are families gathering outside bars and groups of friends chatting. You can even see people drinking at bars, who conveniently leave tables out. Yet I have never seen an enforcement officer anywhere.
However, when I’m in Ang Mo Kio (I take my son to see his paediatrician there), I always see 3-4 social distancing ambassadors patrolling the same spot each time. Same case whenever I get groceries. Officers are everywhere around the heartlands ready to hand out fines. Is this a coincidence? Maybe.