SINGAPORE — A restaurant and a company were each fined $6,500 on Wednesday (29 September) for allowing a 65-person dinner to be held earlier this year in violation of COVID-19 safe management measures.
The entities being prosecuted were Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant at Turf City and Asia Piling Co., a company which organised the event for its staff.
On 6 February, enforcement officers observed a dinner involving 65 customers seated across nine adjacent tables in the restaurant at Turf Club Road. The event was stopped before food was served.
The event was a breach of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 applicable at the time, which state that a social gathering must be limited to eight or fewer persons, with at least one-metre spacing between groups.
Except for solemnisations, wedding receptions and work-related events, food and beverage establishments should not accept reservations or walk-ins for groups with more than eight persons, even if they are split across multiple tables.
Ah Yat pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to open the permitted enterprises in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions. Asia Piling admitted to a charge of causing the gathering of 65 persons for a recreational or social purpose.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh submitted for a fine of $7,000, each for Ah Yat and Asia Piling.
The entities should not be credited for the event being stopped before food was served as it would have gone on if not for the enforcement officers' arrival, said DPP Koh.
“Any plea of ignorance of the prevailing requirements should also not be given any weight. The requirements not to accept groups beyond eight persons and not to organise social or recreational events were well-publicised,” DPP Koh said.
Each of the entities could have been fined up to $10,000 for breaching COVID-19 measures.
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