SINGAPORE — A wedding organiser and an events company were charged on Wednesday (10 November) for breaching COVID-19 safe management measures during wedding events held on 30 January this year.
Osman Arrifin, 59, and Orange Ballroom LLP are accused of contravening the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 by failing to comply with restrictions for marriage solemnisations and wedding receptions.
Osman was handed two charges, while Orange Ballroom faces one charge.
Osman and Orange Ballroom allegedly permitted 235 guests to attend a wedding at The Orange Ballroom, more than twice the permissible limit of 100 persons. Orange Ballroom, a wedding and corporate venue, is located on the third floor of Tanjong Katong Complex in Paya Lebar.
Three receptions were held for the same couple on 30 January. While each guest was only allowed to attend one reception, 18 guests are also said to have attended multiple receptions.
In addition, Orange Ballroom allegedly failed to ensure that the maximum number of attendees for each reception did not exceed 50 persons. According to court documents, the receptions that day had 62, 73 and 60 attendees.
Osman told the court that he will be pleading guilty to his charges. He will also be representing Orange Ballroom to plead guilty to its charge. Both mentions were fixed for 20 December.
Asked by the judge if he would be engaging a lawyer, Osman said no, pointing out that the company owed five months rent of more than $300,000 to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) as it had been unable to operate for some time during the pandemic.
Last year, the firm also had to refund couples more than $200,000 as their nuptials had to be called off due to prevailing COVID curbs. He added that during the two-week period the company was suspended by the SLA from operating, nine clients were affected and had to be shifted to another venue, which had cost even more money.
In an earlier release, SLA said that its safe distancing ambassadors conducted checks at The Orange Ballroom on 30 January and noticed the breaches. On 22 March, the Singapore Land Authority issued an order to close The Orange Ballroom for 20 days from 22 March to 10 April for its breaches.
If convicted of breaching infection controls, a first time offender may be jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $10,000.
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