National Development Minister Lawrence Wong took to his Facebook on Saturday (20 June) calling on business operators to do the “right thing” as they will be “taken to task” if they are unable to comply with the safe management measures.
Mr Wong said in his post that the authorities were alerted to large crowds gathering around the Outdoor Refreshment Areas (ORA) and on the road along Lorong Mambong in Holland Village on Friday evening (19 June).
“Based on their inspections, the crowds were largely gathering outside one restaurant, namely the British Indian Curry Hut,” he wrote, adding that the restaurant has been ordered to close with immediate effect.
Following the incident, enforcement officers had issued fines to several individuals for violating safe distancing rules while investigations are ongoing for other possible breaches of safe distancing measures, noted Mr Wong.
“Our officers will continue their patrols islandwide, especially in popular nightspots, and will take immediate actions against any individuals or business flouting the safe distancing rules,” he wrote.
Mr Wong warned that any individuals who breached the safe distancing rules will be fined even if it is a first offence, while egregious cases will be charged and prosecuted in court.
He added that work pass holders who do so risk having their passes revoked.
“Likewise any business operator who is unable to comply with the safe management measures will be ordered to close (even for a first offence), and will face possible penalties and charges. I call on all business operators to do the right thing.
“There’s no point rushing to open, only to fall short of the new safe management requirements. You will end up with further closures and disruptions for your business. Worse, you will be endangering the lives of your customers and staff,” Mr Wong remarked.
According to The Straits Time, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Saturday affirmed that people were observed gathering around the outdoor refreshment areas and on the road along Lorong Mambong in Holland Village on Friday evening.
The URA stated that crowds were spotted at the British Indian Curry Hut, adding that the restaurant had failed to adhere to the safe management practices.
“We have therefore ordered the restaurant to close with immediate effect. The restaurant will only be allowed to do takeaways next week and open for dining in from June 29, provided it has shown that it is able to implement safe management measures for its customers,” said the authority.
It added that Lorong Mambong will be reopened to traffic to prevent people from gathering on the street, and that the outdoor refreshment areas along the sidewalks will be removed.
“All F&B outlets along this stretch will have to ensure that their customers dine only within their premises, and are not loitering or drinking outside,” noted the URA.
In a video sent to TOC, a group of people were caught in a scuffle on the road along Lorong Mambong in Holland Village, leading to crowds gathering around them.
The incident took place last Friday evening – the first day of Phase Two of the country’s reopening.