Fei Siong fined $4,000 after its Encik Tan outlet fails to keep diners’ chairs 1m apart, Latest Singapore News

The enforcement officers were on duty in the area and noticed that the chairs of some tables at the Encik Tan outlet at 313@Somerset were not at least one metre apart from those at other tables.

They stayed to observe for five minutes and in that time, no action was taken by staff of the eatery to ensure that the safe distance requirement was adhered to.

On Tuesday (Jan 11), Fei Siong Food Management, which runs the Encik Tan outlets here, was fined $4,000 after a representative of the company had pleaded guilty to breaching a Covid-19 control order.

Fei Siong had previously been hit with eight composition fines of between $1,000 and $2,000 for breaches of Covid-19 measures at other outlets from April 2020 to April last year.

The court heard that on May 14 (Friday) last year, enforcement officers had stopped to observe dining operations at the Encik Tan outlet in 313@Somerset at around 7.50pm.

Said Deputy Public Prosecutor Norman Yew: “During those five minutes, there was no attempt by the employees of (Fei Siong) to check that… the chairs at each table were at least one metre away from the chairs at then next table.”

The officers then measured the distance between the chairs and found that there were three instances where they were less than one metre – namely 44cm, 79cm and 88cm – apart.

The prosecution sought a fine of $5,000 while defence lawyer Shaun Marc Lew from Engelin Teh Practice LLC asked for not more than $2,500.

Mr Lew told the court that Fei Siong had devised a safe management plan for its various eateries, including its Encik Tan outlets.

“Brand managers would visit the outlets to ensure that the measures were complied with,” he said.

Mr Lew argued that there were practical difficulties in enforcing the rules across Fei Siong’s more than 150 outlets and the breaches were committed during dinner time on Friday, a typically busy period.

“As the chairs are not fixed to the floor, customers could move them excessively while eating. The lack of attention on the part of Fei Siong (to remind customers) led to the breaches,” said Mr Lew.

While District Judge Ng Peng Hong acknowledged the measures Fei Siong had put in place in its attempt to adhere to safe distancing measures, hesaidthe composition fines given to the company had to be taken into consideration.

For breaching the Covid-19 control order, Fei Siong could have been fined up to $10,000.

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