New regulations for social distancing: Fine and jail term for individuals intentionally breaking 1m rule

Today is the day.

New measures kick in today on March 27 till Apr 30

There will now be restrictions on the gathering outside work and school to limit to 10 persons at any one time. In addition, a slew of measures is also introduced.

Read: Singapore is (almost) on Lockdown

Along with these measures, added penalties are introduced in a government gazatte last evening. This would include measures that would affect individuals as well as the organisation.

For the individuals

Safe Distancing measures for Seating and Queues
An individual who intentionally

  • sits on a seat not fixed to the floor and is less than one metre away from another seated individual in a public place
  • sits on a fixed seat in a public place that is demarcated as not to be occupied
  • stands in a queue less than one metre away from another individual in a public place

An individual shall be guilty of an offence and liable for fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both

Participant in events of 10 or  more individuals
If the individual knows or ought reasonably to know that more than 10 individuals are present or taking part in the event in person; and the individual continues to take part or remains at the event or on those premises

An individual shall be guilty of an offence and liable for fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both

Safe Distancing for public events
Where any Food and beverage are served for consumption in or on the premises during the event. to ensure that
  • each individual served may consume the food or beverage only in an area that allows him or her to be at least one metre away from another individual and
  • the food and beverage is served in individual portions in a manner that minimises the time and extent that individuals may interact

Allow natural ventilation of the premises during the event

To take body temperature of every individual entering the premises in order to determine whether the individual is febrile and to visually ascertain where the individual display any symptom

To obtain contact particulars of every individual attending the event, before the individual enter the premises

Refuse entry to any individual who is ferbil or exhibits specified symptom

A Organiser shall be guilty of an offence and liable for fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both

Limiting capacity and group sizes for attractions and shopping center

Limit the number of customers and other individuals within the premises to the prescribed threshold for such premises

Customers and other individuals within the premises do not internationally gather in group of more than 10 individuals within the premises

Distance of 1 meter between individuals in the group

Where 2 or more groups of customers or individuals, there is a distance of at least 1 meter

Places of Worship, funeral Parlour and other premises used for a funeral wake
Not more than 10 individuals in any room within the specified place at any time

A Person shall be guilty of an offence and liable for fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both

For Prohibited events and activities 

  • No competition, sporting event or sporting contest between any number of people or animals held in a public place
  • No convention, exhibition, trade fair or sales event held in a public place
  • No organised tour or visit one or more places or points of interest in which the participant or participants in the tour is accompanied by an individual who is not a participant of the tour or visit
  • Closure of cinema, theatre, concert hall, amusement centre, games arcade, computer games centre, sports or recreation facility or eating establishment
  • Closure of enrichment centers and tuitions for children age 18 and below. This includes sporting facility.
  • No goods, entertainment or services at bar, public house, karaoke lounge, nightclub or discotheque
Fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both if rules are contravene

For Unprohibited events
Limit on attendance during the control period in or on any premises in Singapore by organisers.

If there are more than 10 individuals person, the person will be guilty of an offence and is liable for a fine not more than $10000 or jail term of not more than 6 months

What could be fine-tune
While the measures are far-reaching, it does omit certain scenarios such as queuing for public transports as well as seating on public transports such as MRT and Buses. Given the manpower shortage in the industry, while increasing buses frequencies during peak period is ideal, it may not be plausible. Nonetheless, we do think this 'gap' needs to be address

Public Transportation
  • Passengers are to stand at least a meter away from each other
  • Limitation on passengers per bus or train load
  • Seats are to be demarcated to ensure 1 m ruling

To mitigate peak hours concern, the following options are to be consider

1) Staggered timings for school 
  • Schools in the same district to have staggered starting time of 1 hour apart. 
  • Alternatively consider holding 2 sessions for schools. Morning and Afternoon sessions
2) Staggered timing for work
  •  For non-essential services, consider having companies start at a different time slot. For easy management, consider using the following formula
  • Companies with A,C,E,G,I,K,M,O,Q,S,U,W,Y to start at a certain time slot
  • Companies with B,D,F,H,J, L N,P,R,T,V,X,Z to start an hour later

3) Enforced half force compulsory work from home from companies that are able to do so

Contact Sports
While rules are in place for sporting events of not more than 10 person at any one time, contact sports could be a possible source of transmission due to the way it is conducted. Futsal,  Basketball, Netball, Judo are some of the contact sports that need to be reassessed.

The number of players may be small (limited to 10 and below), but the risk of transmission is much higher considering the level of contact among the players.

1-meter rules

Given the measures, perhaps it might be better to just stay indoors and avoid non-essential trips out of the house for the moment. If not, you can always purchase a 1-meter ruler when you are out. It will serve 2 functions- Keep your distance in check and keep those away from you with a spank.

Stay Safe!

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