SINGAPORE: Two Resorts World Sentosa hotels, the Beach Villas and Equarius Hotel, have been directed to suspend bookings for one month after failing to comply with COVID-19 safe management measures, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Monday (Dec 21).
The suspension will begin on Tuesday and end on Jan 21, 2021, with bookings allowed to resume the day after.
“The two hotels are not permitted to accept new bookings for the duration of the suspension. However, they are still permitted to fulfil existing bookings,” said STB in a media release.
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Investigations by STB’s enforcement officers revealed that at least 15 people had gathered in a two-storey villa at the Beach Villas on Oct 10. Only four had been registered as guests with the hotel.
STB also found that Equarius Hotel failed to prevent a gathering of 16 people in a guest room on Nov 17. The guest room was booked under the names of three of the people in the group.
The hotels also failed to ensure SafeEntry check-ins and temperature taking for the individuals involved.
Further investigations of the hotels as well as individuals involved are under way, and enforcement actions may be taken, said STB.
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10 HOTELS FINED
STB said 10 hotels and hostels have been fined for breaching safe management measures, such as failing to conduct entry screening or record contact details of guests that enter their premises.
The 10 hotels and hostels are:
1. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
2. Furama Riverfront Singapore
3. Gap Year Hostel
4. Hotel 1887
5. Hotel Supreme
6. Kim Tian Hotel (Han)
7. One Degree 15 Marina Club
8. ST Signature Jalan Besar Hotel
9. ST Signature Tanjong Pagar Hotel
10. Thad’s Boutique Hostel
“STB takes a serious view of any breach in SMMs (safe management measures) and will not hesitate to take enforcement action for non-compliance. Businesses and members of public are required to adhere to prevailing safe management measures to prevent COVID-19 clusters from forming,” said the agency.
“The Government will also step up enforcement checks during this period to ensure compliance. Businesses and members of public are also reminded that the current group size limit of five individuals will continue to apply until Phase 3 takes effect from Dec 28, 2020.”
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STB said “strict enforcement action” will be taken against errant businesses or individuals, which may include fines, temporary closure and prosecution.
First-time offenders may be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to six months or both, with double the possible maximum punishment for repeat offenders.
Businesses that do not comply with the safe management measures may also be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance, said STB.
MORE MEASURES INTRODUCED AHEAD OF FESTIVE SEASON
Additional safety management measures were introduced on Dec 1, following “an increase in such incidents and in view of the upcoming festive period”, said STB.
Hotels are required to inform guests about group size limits and the penalties for non-compliance through pre-arrival emails, at the point of check-in or other forms of communication. A documented acknowledgement from guests must be obtained.
The group size limits and penalties must also be displayed on signage at lift lobbies.
Hotels must ensure that every visitor to a guest room is pre-registered by the guest prior to arrival. The visitors are required to present themselves at the front desk for registration before being allowed to enter the guest room.
The entry of every visitor to a guest room must be monitored through “effective means” such as by using visitor passes or staff members stationed at lift lobbies.
Records of pre-registration and monitoring of visitors must be kept for not less than 28 days after the day the record is made.
If a guest room or pair of adjoining guest rooms where the connecting door may be opened by guests already has 5 people in it, any other person must be denied entry.
STB also said hotels must implement security patrols to perform “regular checks” and monitor for any “suspicious behaviour” through closed circuit television surveillance of lobby, lifts and corridors.