Gemma Steakhouse ordered to suspend operations for 20 days for Halloween-themed dinner involving about 75 individuals
4 December 2020 – Following feedback on a Halloween-themed dinner held on 31 October 2020, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) commenced investigations on potential breaches of Safe Management Measures (SMMs) at Gemma Steakhouse, 1 St Andrews Road, #05-03, National Gallery Singapore.
2 SFA found that the restaurant had worked with a private members’ club to organise a Halloween-themed dinner, which was attended by a total of about 75 diners comprising both members of the club and their guests. Although the diners were seated at tables of up to five, CCTV footage showed that they intermingled on multiple occasions, and did not wear their masks even when they were not eating/drinking. The footage also showed that the restaurant staff did not take reasonable steps to prevent the intermingling on their premises.
3 Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, social gatherings of groups of more than five outside an individual’s residence are prohibited. F&B outlets are also prohibited from accepting bookings from groups of larger than five, even if such groups are split across multiple tables. Intermingling between groups is also prohibited.
Enforcement Action Against the Restaurant
4 For accepting a large group booking for this dinner, which was eventually attended by a total of about 75 diners, and for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent multiple instances of intermingling among the diners in the group, SFA has issued an order requiring the licensee of Gemma Steakhouse, Il Lido Pte Ltd, to close the restaurant from 3 December 2020 for a period of 20 days until 22 December 2020 (both dates inclusive).
5 Investigations are continuing in respect of possible breaches by various parties. A serious view is being taken on what has happened.
SMM Breaches May Lead to Resurgence of COVID-19
6 The Government holds a serious view of flagrant breaches of SMMs. Dining out is an activity that involves considerable risks. It entails gathering in enclosed spaces, without masks on, and for a prolonged duration. While the majority have been adhering to the measures, it is regrettable that there remains a minority which continue to breach SMMs. We will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action against operators and individuals who treat SMMs with flagrant disregard.
7 COVID-19 remains a grave threat and we must not be complacent. A resurgence of infections as seen in other countries could have devastating effects on lives and livelihoods. We urge all members of the public to be socially responsible and observe the SMMs. Our collective efforts will determine if we successfully make the transition to Phase 3, as we adapt to a new normal.