Photo credit: NParks' Facebook

No more warnings, $300 fine for not safe-distancing from Sunday

Over 3,000 stern warnings issued on Saturday to people not taking circuit breaker measures seriously.

Justin Hui

Published: 11 April 2020, 12:00 AM

The circuit breaker period came into effect earlier this week, but Singaporeans do not seem to be taking the fight against COVID-19 seriously enough.

On Saturday alone, more than 3,000 stern warnings and 50 fines were issued to people not complying with safe-distancing measures. This was an increase from over 2,900 stern warnings and 40 fines issued the day before.

In light of the health and safety risk, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli took to Facebook on Saturday, Apr 11, to announce stiffer penalties being rolled out.

From Sunday, members of the public who breach safe-distancing measures will be fined $300 for their first offence. Previously, first-time offenders would only receive a stern written warning. Repeat offenders will face higher fines or prosecution in court.

Today our Enforcement Officers reported that there are still too many people not taking the circuit breaker measures...

Posted by Masagos Zulkifli on Saturday, April 11, 2020

This is not the first time Mr Masagos expressed his alarm and disappointment on Facebook at the number of people ignoring the rules.

In a previous post on Apr 10, he said: “Those who displayed a flagrant disregard for the measures included organised groups exercising together (including cyclists), and people loitering at a market.”

He also highlighted that some people refused to cooperate with enforcement officers and ambassadors, and “more than 20 cases required Singapore Police Force officers to step in”.

Our Enforcement Officers have been working tirelessly to ensure that members of public adhere to the safe distancing...

Posted by Masagos Zulkifli on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Many youths were upset at hearing how irresponsibly people were behaving.

“It is obvious that people who still continue physical social meetings don’t understand the severity and importance of this circuit breaker,” said undergraduate Donovan Loh, 24.

“Judging by the current outlook of irresponsible adults, it seems that stricter measures must be put in place so that we can deter such selfish behaviour.”

There are still too many gatherings like this in public places, who had to be dispersed today.

Posted by Masagos Zulkifli on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Others hope that that Singaporeans will act more responsibly; not just for themselves, but for the whole nation.

Finance professional Tan Li Wei, 27, said: “Having a close relative who works in the hospital fighting the virus has put things into perspective for myself and my family. If we can’t be the ones to help fight the virus on the frontline, we should at least do our parts to not contribute to the risk of further infections.

“We should make sure that the tireless work of all those involved in the recovery of one patient should not go to waste with the admittance of a new patient who was neglected adhering to safety measures.”

Additional reporting by Charmaine Khong and Tan Li Wen

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