Seven people were charged in court on Tuesday (2 June) for flouting Government prohibition on social gatherings during the COVID-19 circuit breaker.
The individuals charged in court today — who were named by local press — are:
- A 45-year-old Austrian national;
- A 30-year-old British national;
- A 33-year-old British national;
- A 35-year-old British citizen;
- A 37-year-old British citizen;
- A 40-year-old United States citizen; and
- a 52-year-old United States citizen.
The Austrian national is a Singapore permanent resident and has two schoolgoing children here.
Each of them is charged with one count of breaching Regulation 6 of the COVID-19 regulations by meeting each other without reasonable excuse between 6pm and 6.44pm on 16 May, either at Rosso Vino at 15 Merbau Road or [email protected] Quay — the latter of which is situated within a short walking distance from the former.
All seven charged today were offered a S$3,000 bail.
The case has been adjourned to 16 June.
Earlier on 16 May, Facebook user Lectress Pat posted a series of photos showing crowds of people gathering at 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 masks in the photos, while others were seen sitting near to each other without social distancing. The photos went viral on social media.
Following the incident, URA stated on 17 May that it has ordered the restaurants at Robertson Quay to cease the sale of takeaway alcohol immediately.
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli confirmed in a Facebook post on 18 May 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.
A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesperson in a statement on Monday (1 June) said that foreigners holding work passes convicted of offences in Singapore “risk having their work passes revoked, in addition to an employment ban” regardless of the type of work pass they hold.
He added that the ministry has “consistently revoked the work passes of persons convicted of criminal offences or for making false declarations in work pass applications”.
The MOM spokesperson highlighted that the Ministry has revoked the status of over 100 Employment Pass holders in the last three years.
MOM said stressed that “Singaporeans and foreigners alike” are penalised for flouting the circuit breaker rules in widely publicised cases.
For each charge, persons found guilty of flouting COVID-19 regulations can be subject to a jail term of up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.