Two Singapore Citizens were charged in court on 7 April 2020 after breaching their Stay-Home Notice (SHN). A 48-year-old male, Palanivelu Ramasamy, was arrested and charged for an offence under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 – Stay Orders) Regulations 2020. A 34-year-old male, Tham Xiang Sheng, Alan, was charged for an offence under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act.
Wilful Breach of the SHN Requirements by Palanivelu Ramasamy
2. The Government had announced that with effect from 20 March 2020, 2359 hours, all returning residents (Singaporeans, Permanent Residents), Long-Term Pass holders and short-term visitors entering Singapore would be issued an SHN and must remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period.
3. Ramasamy had arrived in Singapore from India on 21 March 2020, after spending approximately a month there. He was served with an SHN upon his return. He acknowledged that he understood the contents of the notice, in particular that he could not leave his place of residence for 14 days. On 30 March 2020, as part of enforcement checks by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), a team of officers visited Ramasamy’s place of residence and found that he was not there.
4. Investigations revealed that Ramasamy had left his place of residence for approximately two hours to deliver newspapers, despite knowing that he was not supposed to. He had walked to the bus stop and waited there, boarded a bus that had other passengers, walked to Goldhill Plaza after alighting, and took a lift there to deliver newspapers to multiple units across multiple floors. Thereafter, he took the lift back down and walked to the bus stop, from where he took a bus home. His actions exposed him to various people, and this non-compliance with the SHN requirements posed a risk to public health.
5. Following ICA’s investigations into Ramasamy’s wilful breach of the SHN, he was charged in court on 7 April 2020 for an offence under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 – Stay Orders) Regulations 2020. Any person convicted of an offence under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 – Stay Orders) Regulations 2020 is liable to a fine of up to $10,000, or up to six months’ imprisonment, or both.
Wilful Breach of the SHN Requirements by Tham Xiang Sheng, Alan
6. Tham had arrived in Singapore from Myanmar on 23 March 2020. He was served with an SHN upon his return. On 25 March 2020, as part of enforcement checks by ICA, a team of officers visited Tham and checked on his whereabouts on 23 March 2020. Tham admitted that he had not proceeded home immediately but had visited several places on the said date.
7. Investigations revealed that Tham’s activities that day included visits to food centres and a mall, for a duration of approximately six and a half hours. Despite being issued with an SHN which required Tham to remain in his place of residence for a 14-day period, Tham exposed others to the risk of infection through his irresponsible conduct.
8. Following MOH’s investigations into Tham’s wilful breach of SHN requirements, he was charged in court on 7 April 2020 for an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act. Any person convicted of an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act is liable to a fine of up to $10,000, or up to six months’ imprisonment, or both.
Importance of Complying with SHN Requirements
9. ICA will not hesitate to take firm enforcement action against those who fail to comply with the SHN requirements. Besides prosecuting offenders under the Infectious Diseases Act and its Regulations, ICA may also cancel their immigration facilities, where applicable.
10. ICA also reminds all travellers to ensure that they submit complete and accurate health and travel declarations via the SG Arrival Card. Anyone who makes a false or misleading declaration will be liable to prosecution under the Infectious Diseases Act. The penalty for providing false or misleading information is a fine of up to S$10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to six months. For subsequent offence(s), the penalty is a fine of up to S$20,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months. For foreigners, ICA may also take further administrative actions, such as revocation of, or shortening the validity of permits and passes to remain in Singapore.
11. Members of the public can report information about anyone who fails to comply with SHN requirements to ICA at go.gov.sg/reportshnbreach or 6812 5555.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
7 APRIL 2020