SINGAPORE: A total of 40 fines and more than 3,100 “stern warnings” have been issued to members of the public for not complying with safe distancing measures.

All 40 fines and 2,900 of the warnings were issued on Friday (Apr 10) alone, the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources said in a media release.

One person illegally hawking face masks at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 was fined S$1,000 and ordered to stop operations immediately. 

The police also had to be called in for more than 20 cases where members of the public refused to cooperate when asked to leave.

READ: Markets to refuse entry to people not wearing masks from Sunday: NEA

READ: PM Lee appeals to older Singaporeans to stay at home during COVID-19 ‘circuit breaker’ period

Members of the public queue outside Geylang Serai Market on Apr 9, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

A separate enforcement operation by the police found that a beauty salon along Upper Cross Street had provided massage services without a licence during the COVID-19 “circuit breaker” period. 

Police investigations are ongoing, said the ministry.

TAKE MEASURES SERIOUSLY, DO NOT GO ON FAMILY OUTINGS

The start of the long weekend saw a rise in the number of people going out to public spaces such as neighbourhood centres, markets, hawker centres and parks, the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources said.

More than 2,800 enforcement officers and ambassadors were deployed on Friday, the ministry said, adding that National Parks Board (NParks) employees were “out in force” to enforce safe distancing measures at parks, gardens and nature reserves.

READ: Fines, prosecution in court for repeat offenders of ‘circuit breaker’ measures

Singapore food market tables chairs covered safe distancing

Tables and chairs at a hawker centre in Singapore are covered to prevent people from dining in, as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19, Apr 9, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

Across NParks-managed gardens, parks and nature reserves, more than 720 playgrounds and fitness areas, 12 dog runs and eight fishing spots have been closed off to prevent gathering in groups.

To ensure safe distancing during peak hours, NParks also temporarily closed access bridges at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

The Henderson Waves and MacRitchie TreeTop Walk were also temporarily closed while the Park Connector in Jurong Lake Gardens was temporarily diverted.

READ: Playmade bubble tea shop first establishment fined for flouting COVID-19 safe distancing measures

safe-distancing rules during circuit breaker period

NParks is also tapping on technology to monitor visitorship, such as using drones in parks and nature areas that are larger with more ground to cover.

“The use of drones also give a better sense of the density of visitors in a specific area. Aerial photographs taken by drones are reviewed every half an hour, and areas experiencing high visitorship levels will be temporarily closed in order to ensure safe distancing,” said the environment ministry.

“Members of public must take the circuit breaker measures seriously, and not embark on family outings during this period. The elderly, who are particularly vulnerable, should stay at home. 

“Please stay home, avoid crowds and observe safe distancing. Failure to comply will result in firm action by our enforcement officers.”

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