Bubble Tea Chain Fined for Failure to Enforce Safe Distancing As Over 7K Shops Told to Close


Along with water, air, and food, Singaporeans need bubble tea to survive.

Many bubble tea addicts have been going through withdrawal during the Covid-19 outbreak, shaking at home in the fetal position mouthing the words bubble tea over and over again.

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And yes, we could have our bubble teas delivered, but the only thing we like more than bubble tea is saving money, so that’s not an option because deliveries are expensive.

So, we go out once in a while to get our bubble tea fix despite the dangers, like a deer cautiously returning to a lake after eluding a tiger.

But what if our favourite bubble tea store is closed when we need it the most?

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It’s hasn’t happened yet, but it might in the future.

Bubble Tea Chain Fined for Failure to Enforce Safe Distancing 

You probably know Playmade as the mad scientist of bubble tea chains that created the Wasabi Milk Tea, the milk tea that makes you poop out most of your internal organs after consumption.

On day 3 of the circuit breaker, the Taiwanese brand’s outlet at Waterway Point was slapped with a S$1,000 composition fine for failing to enforce the safe distancing measures properly, despite repeated warnings, reported TODAYonline.

“The outlet had failed to implement a crowd management system and allowed customers to crowd together without 1m spacing between one another”, said Enterprise Singapore (ESG) in a joint statement with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

As you know, safe distancing measures are mandatory for F&B establishments, as queues bring people into close contact with each other.

This is why we have to keep at least a 1m distance from others even when queuing at hawker centres.

Playmade was lucky though; 85 businesses were told to cease operations following enforcement checks by both agencies over Wednesday and Thursday.

This was either because they remained open despite providing non-essential services, or provided essential services without enforcing safe distancing measures properly, like Playmade.

If Playmade continues to-

Reader: Wait, bubble tea stores are an essential service?

Of course they are. I’m offended that you would even ask such a question. You should be ashamed of yourself.


Reader: Sorry

As I was saying, if Playmade continues to flout the rules, it will face higher fines and can be charged in court.

This means that they, too, could be asked to close.

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Over 7K Shops Told to Close

While Playmade was the first establishment to be fined, many others were told to cease operations.

During the circuit breaker period, only stores providing essential services are allowed to remain open.


Despite knowing this, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) said that 7,000 non-essential shops had to be closed by the Housing and Development Board since Tuesday, including 150 on Thursday.

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Stern warnings were issued to the owners. Some stern warnings were also given to members of the public who were flouting the circuit breaker rules.

MEWR said that stern written warnings will be given to first-time offenders, and anyone who commits a second offence will be fined S$300, while a third offence will lead to the person being charged in court.

As for non-compliant business owners, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both.

I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again: the government isn’t messing around, this is serious business.

If you’re a human, try to stay at home as much as possible, and observe safe distancing if you have to go outside.


If you’re a business like Playmade, you should probably follow the rules laid out by the authorities, because you might just be told to close if you don’t.

I’m giving you this advice, Playmade, not just so you’ll survive, but so Singaporeans will have a steady supply of bubble tea during this crisis.