Singapore fines 199 firms, workplaces

SINGAPORE (CNA) – A total of 199 firms and workplaces have been fined SGD45,000 for breaching measures put in place to reduce the risk of local transmission of COVID-19 in Singapore.

The work passes of 29 work pass holders have also been revoked for breaching stay-home notices or “circuit breaker” measures.

As of yesterday, the city state reported 768 new COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s total to 21,707.

The vast majority of these are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, said the Singapore Ministry of Health in its daily update of preliminary figures.

Meanwhile, in an update on its enforcement efforts yesterday, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it had conducted more than 15,000 inspections at workplaces from April 7, when the circuit breaker began, to May 5.

The “vast majority” of companies inspected were found to be compliant with safe distancing measures. However, 29 workplaces were found to be in breach of these measures, and fined SGD29,000.

The breaches include failure to ensure safe distancing and crowd management, conduct of temperature screening, and proper tracking of employees and visitors’ entry into the workplace.

Action was also taken against 170 non-essential firms which did not get approval to operate during the circuit breaker period. Of these, 16 firms were fined SGD16,000, with the others issued with stern warnings.

Between April 13 and April 30, MOM conducted more than 75,000 video calls and inspections on foreign workers to ensure compliance with circuit breaker measures and stay-home notice requirements.

A total of 29 work pass holders have had their passes revoked for various breaches, and have been permanently banned from working in Singapore. Seventeen work pass holders were found eating, drinking and gathering in groups, and 12 were caught leaving their residence while on stay-home notices (SHN). The work pass privileges of nine employers have also been suspended for failing to ensure that their employees comply with stay-home notice requirements.

“MOM will continue to conduct checks on businesses and workers to ensure compliance of circuit breaker measures and SHN requirements,” said the ministry.