Singapore: Safe Distancing Rules Kick In; Fine or Jail Term Otherwise

These regulations came into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 26—a part of the measures the city-state is taking to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

A street in Singapore.

Starting March 27, people in Singapore who fail to observe the self-distancing rule of one meter could be guilty of an offense.

According to the Infectious Diseases Act made by the Ministry of Health and published in the Government Gazette on March 26 night, this applies to the following: Sitting down from another person in a public place, sitting on a fixed seat marked as not to be occupied, or standing in a queue less than a meter away from another.

Those found guilty of the offense could be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to six months, or face both penalties upon conviction.

These regulations came into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 26—a part of the measures the city-state is taking to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition, the new rules limit gatherings outside of work and school to 10 persons or fewer. The physical distancing of at least one meter also has to be maintained in non-transient settings such as retail malls, restaurants, and coffee shops.

Organizers of events in public places where food or drinks are served will also have to ensure that patrons are at least a meter away from others. Food and drinks also have to be served in individual portions. Other measures include taking of body temperature for every attendee, obtaining their contact details for contact tracing purposes, and natural ventilation in the space.

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