Singapore to take stronger actions against circuit-breaker rules offenders hinh anh 1People in Singapore wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Singapore (VNA)
– Singaporean authorities said they will impose stronger punishments on those who repeatedly break the 28-day circuit-breaker rules.

This comes after Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli reported on Facebook that enforcement officers were still finding people gathering in groups on the second day of the circuit-breaker.

“Exercise groups are still meeting in the parks. A good number still do not observe safe distancing when queueing, especially in the markets. These are where clusters of infections can be born,” Masagos Zulkifli wrote.

From April 9, enforcement officers will issue stern written warnings to people found gathering in public, he said, adding that these warnings will be issued before the groups are dispersed, and the individuals’ particulars will be recorded.

People found to breach the rules a second time will be fined 300 SGP, and taken to court if caught a third time, Masagos said in another Facebook post on April 9.

“There are still many people who are not taking the COVID-19 situation seriously. Some are even uncooperative, insisting on dining in at eating places, not maintaining a safe distance when queuing in markets, and gathering in parks to eat or exercise together,” he wrote, adding that police intervention was required in some cases where people refused to budge.

Earlier on the same day, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also warned against public gathering.

“The number of new Covid-19 cases is increasing sharply, and we must comply with the Stay Home measures very strictly,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

The PM also urged the public to explain to their family and friends how serious the situation is.

“The more we take liberties with the Stay Home measures, the longer these painful measures will have to last. I know we all want to go back to normalcy, but this can only happen if we take things seriously,” he said.

The Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been implementing social distancing measures on the metro and bus systems, such as limiting the number of commuters who can enter train stations and buses.

Safe distancing stickers will be progressively rolled out on all trains, train stations, buses, bus stops and bus interchanges to mark out spaces and seats that should be avoided by commuters. Thermal scanners are deployed at selected MRT stations to screen commuters before they enter the stations. 

On April 8, Singapore reported a record 142 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 1,623./.