New Rule: Groups Of More Than 5 In Restaurants Will Be Fined Even If They’re Not Seated Together


The human brain seems to be designed to disobey orders from authority.

Every time we hear the word “don’t” or “can’t”, our brain immediately thinks challenge accepted.

Image: Tenor

Remember when you were a kid and your parents forbade you from playing with scissors?

You promised to stay away from the sharp instrument, but started running around the house with it the next day.

This is cute when you’re a baby, but less so when you’re an adult and there’s a deadly disease on the loose.

Time and time again, the government has advised us not to do certain things for our own good, but for some reason, many of us find it hard to comply.

Three Eateries Closed For Breaching Safe Management Measures

Three more F&B outlets have been ordered to close for breaching Safe Management Measures (SMMs), according to the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment (MSE).


On 12 Sep, despite the rules in place, MSE officers found a group of 15 people inside a restaurant at 39 Hong Kong Street.

The group had organised a private dinner event and was split across four tables, with intermingling observed.

Image: MSE

The restaurant was ordered to close for 10 days by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

On the same day, the Beer Factory was observed to have admitted three groups of patrons that each comprised more than five people.

Image: MSE

They too were ordered to close for 10 days.

The last establishment on the list is a coffee shop at Block 261, Serangoon Central Drive.

MSE officers observed patrons consuming alcohol at 10.55pm, even though the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages are prohibited after 10:30pm under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.

At least they didn’t pour it in a teapot, right?

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) ordered the drinks outlet at the coffee shop to close for ten days as well.

Four other F&B outlets were fined S$1,000 for breaching various SMMs such as allowing groups of more than five to be seated together, intermingling between tables, and seating groups of customers less than 1 metre apart.

Since customers and eateries keep breaching safety measures, and because we don’t want every eatery in the country to close, the authorities have introduced a new rule:

Groups Of More Than 5 In Restaurants Will Be Fined, Even If They’re Not Seated Together

The authorities said they will fine customers if they come for a meal in groups larger than 5 in public, even if they’re not seated together.

First-time offenders will face a $300 fine, while further offences will incur a $1,000 fine or a date with a court judge.

This means that if you go for lunch with 10 of your friends and sit at different tables, you could still be fined, according to MSE.


Exceptions will only be made for members of the same household, where groups of no more than five will be seated at separate tables, with at least one metre between the tables.

MSE said F&B establishments should not admit groups larger than 5 and have the authority to ascertain if diners are from the same household.

But Why?

You’re probably scratching your head at the moment. If a group of 10 friends head to a restaurant and sit at different tables, what’s the problem?

Intermingling, my dear Watson. That’s the problem.

You see, if you’re going to an eatery with a group of friends, you’re going to interact with them at some point, unless you don’t like them very much.

And intermingling at restaurants is especially dangerous because your masks are down and mouths wide open.


Shouting across tables would allow the coronavirus to not only have a taste of your Mee Pok but infect your whole group if one of you happens to be infected.

This is why the authorities are coming down hard on errant eateries.

We should just be thankful we can meet our friends at all, in contrast to the circuit breaker where our only companions were Netflix and food.

The fact that the gahmen has to introduce fines every time they want us to do something says a lot about our society.

If we can’t follow simple rules during a deadly pandemic, what will we do during an even greater disaster?


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