CNY dinner woes as eateries ordered to close for breaking Covid rules

Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant allowed 65 people to sit across nine tables at a company dinner.
PHOTO: Singapore Land Authority

Families looking forward to a Chinese New Year reunion dinner at five Chinese restaurants were probably sent scrambling yesterday when they found out the eateries had been ordered to close after breaching safe management measures.

Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant at 200 Turf Club Road, East Treasure Chinese Restaurant at 3B River Valley Road and Crystal Jade Jiang Nan at VivoCity will be closed for 10 days, from yesterday to Feb 19. Ding Garden at 191B New Bridge Road must also close for 10 days, from Feb 6 to 15, while Wangzi Music Restaurant at 19 New Bridge Road has been forced to shut for 20 days, from Feb 6 to 25.

This comes after the authorities stepped up inspections over the past week to ensure compliance with safe management measures during the festive period.

The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) said in a press release yesterday that 102 people and 12 F&B premises were penalised for breaches during the week.

Indian restaurant chain Banana Leaf Apolo will be charged next week with breaching safe management measures, including having a self-service buffet at its Little India Arcade outlet.

Zam Zam, an Indian restaurant in North Bridge Road, was ordered to shut from Feb 9 to 18 after groups of diners were seated less than 1m apart on Feb 5.

COMPANY DINNER

When ST visited Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant in Turf Club Road, a sign said the closure was due to "malfunction of the kitchen equipment". PHOTO: The Straits Times

Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant allowed 65 people to attend a company dinner on Feb 6. They were seated across nine tables.

One customer said on Facebook that she had made a booking at East Treasure Chinese Restaurant for a reunion dinner today and was informed at 11am yesterday that the eatery would be closed. She described the episode as "ridiculous".

A spokesman for the restaurant told The New Paper it would shift guest bookings to the branch at Woods Square or give them the option of ordering takeaway meals.

"It is our first time being asked to close for breaching Covid-19 rules. In the meantime, we are stepping up our awareness to prevent a reoccurrence," added the spokesman.

Crystal Jade Jiang Nan accepted a booking for 16 diners from different households. A spokesman said it was the first time the establishment had been ordered to close.

"We have made arrangements for 80 per cent of our customers to dine at our other outlets," the spokesman added. "The others have opted to take away their meals or receive dining vouchers."

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Ding Garden, a steamboat and barbecue restaurant, breached safety measures when it allowed 13 diners from different households to sit across three tables on Feb 5. The diners were fined $300 each for gathering in a group larger than eight.

Wangzi Music Restaurant allowed diners to consume alcohol at 2.30am on Feb 6.

Four other F&B outlets were fined $1,000 each and one was fined $2,000 for repeat offences of seating diners less than 1m apart.

A total of 73 individuals were fined $300 each for flouting Covid-19 regulations on Feb 6 and 7 in parks and beaches.

Multiple table bookings for groups of more than eight people and the intermingling between tables are also not allowed. Additional measures have been implemented to reduce crowding in Chinatown, with around 3,000 enforcement officers deployed daily.

"This will help mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission during the festive period and keep us all safe," the MSE said.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

This article was first published in The New Paper.