No further action against Britain-based club for holding Halloween dinner for 75 guests amid pandemic: SFA

SINGAPORE – A private members club based in Britain will not face any further action by the Singapore authorities for holding a dinner for 75 people in the Gemma Steakhouse at the National Gallery amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instead, seven people who attended the Halloween-themed dinner organised by the Soho House at the restaurant on Oct 31 last year were charged in court in July this year for breaches of safe management measures, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) told The Straits Times on Friday (Sept 3).

Of the seven charged, one faced four counts of contravening Covid-19 regulations while the other six faced one count each, said SFA.

“The charges against all seven individuals were compounded at the maximum tariff of $2,000 for each charge,” the agency said, adding: “They have since paid the composition fines and the charges against them were withdrawn on Aug 11, 2021.”

The SFA added: “We have taken enforcement action against the individuals involved and will not be taking any action against the private members’ club, Soho House, which is located in the United Kingdom.”

The agency did not provide details of the seven individuals or explain why it is not taking any action against the club.

It said that Il Lido, the licensee of Gemma Steakhouse, was fined $14,000 by the court on May 19 for breaching safe management measures during phase two of Singapore’s reopening from the circuit breaker.

The restaurant had accepted bookings of 75 diners and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent multiple instances of intermingling among the diners, SFA said. It was also suspended for 20 days from Dec 3 to Dec 22.

In a separate incident, the owner of Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant in Turf City was charged by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) on Wednesday with breaching Covid-19 rules.

The restaurant had allegedly allowed 65 people to gather at its premises for a company dinner in February.

The dinner was organised by Asia Piling on Feb 6, during the Chinese New Year period.

SLA said in a statement on Tuesday that charges have been filed against the owner of the restaurant as well as against Asia Piling for organising the gathering “for a purpose that is substantially recreational or personal in character”.

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